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Posts Tagged ‘NZ Olympic Team’

I pretty much said it all four years ago, here and here, but there are a few things to add.

  • Google’s coverage of the Olympics was brilliant, from the detailed schedules letting me know when I could sleep and when I needed to wake up, to the minute by minute updates of the field events, with distances or heights, making it easy to keep track of the competitors and where they stood.
  • I love watching the long jump and the high jump, but I find it takes a bit out of me. I physically tense up as the athletes reach the take-off, and mentally leap with them, straining to propel them over the bar or further in the pit. I don’t quite throw with the athletes in the shot put or javelin, but almost.
  • Watching the triple jump reminded me of doing the triple jump at primary school, back when we called it the Hop, Step, and Jump, but in secondary school, the triple jump was only for boys, as it was considered to be too onerous or damaging for women’s hips or officials were worried that we would swoon between the Hop and Step or something. It has only been an Olympic event for women since 1996.
  • It was nice to see that the dignity my cousin’s daughter showed four years ago (when she was ousted from her place in the team by a legal technicality that had nothing to do with her) paid off this time, when for several days she became New Zealand’s media darling.
  • I applauded the advent of women athletes wearing the “boy short” style running pants, which looked so much more comfortable because they’re there to compete, not show off their bodies, and of course, I am still appalled at the variation in the uniform requirements for the beach volleyball players.
  • I now want to go to Rio, as I loved seeing the city – the rowing course was stunning, and the bonus was that the medal winners could watch their flags rise with the backdrop of the famous Corcovado peak and statue.
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I’m currently wearing a scarf inside, as the house is slow to warm up this afternoon once I got home from spending the morning out at the gym (and enjoying a coffee, of course). We’ve had four days in a row when temperatures haven’t got over 7oC, and my weather app says that it is currently 4oC outside, but with wind chill feels like -1oC, and of course, on top of all that, it is raining. Yes, I need to be careful what I wish for.

On the bright side, today was a good day in my extended family, as  – after spending most of my schooldays hearing my name used in a mocking way – I could finally be proud to hear it called out, when my cousin’s daughter’s name was announced, and she stepped up to the dais to receive her silver medal at the Olympics. She won her medal in the trap shooting competition, a sport she took up when her parents were looking for a sport that the family could do together, including her wheelchair-bound eldest brother. It was perhaps a logical choice too, as her grandfather and my father and their other brothers and brothers-in-law were all keen duck-shooters back in the day, shooting for the dinner table, not Olympic medals.

The Olympics have only just started, and due to the time zone, events begin around midnight NZ time and run right through the night, so I suspect I won’t be getting a lot of sleep for the next week or so. I’m also still a sop, a sucker for an award ceremony, or the elation of an athlete at their great performance, so I have to watch the Olympics with a tissue box nearby.

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