I'm sitting here, watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics when I should be in bed, but I can't tear myself away. I know that it will just be more of the same-- groups of people wearing marginally interesting costumes with commentary by the everlastingly annoying Bob Costas. (Come on, dude. The Americans were not wearing berets. Those were jaunty little flat caps.)
I have been a big fan of the Olympics for as long as I can remember. And not just a big fan... a slightly obsessive big fan. When I was ten I named one of my Barbies "Lisa Schwong" after Li Xiaoshuang, all-around men's gymnastics gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics. During the 2000 games in Sydney, I kept track of every medal won by every country, noted times for races and scores for gymnasts. I clipped newspaper stories about my favorite athletes (which I still have in a box under my bed.) I could never decide who I adored more:"The Thorpedo" Ian Thorpe or Pieter van den Hoogenband.
In 2004 I watched the Olympics almost every waking hour (ahhh, the advantages of being jobless and homeschooled.) I had the schedule almost memorized and I refused to miss certain events.
I intend to savor every moment of the games this year, although my life may get in the way of those plans. I can't exactly justify skipping work for watch TV, whatever the program.