Olympics 2008

Warning:  Rant Mode ON

Okay so like just about everyone, I’ve been watching – only occasionally mind you – the Olympics coverage in Beijing and Hong Kong.  I thought the pageantry and artistry of the opening and closing ceremonies was amazing, all that beauty and symbolism;  the organisation, coordination et al of the Games was sensational.  Most people were so blown away they even forgot about things like certain promises, environmental conditions [smog, algal blooms], and human rights aberrations.  Excellent PR for the People’s Republic of China.  [The UK has a hard, hard act to follow … especially given the starting handicap of a truly crappy logo.]

But –  and it’s a BIG but – I am so pissed off by the programming, coverage of events and commentators here in Australia  I could spit.

Coverage in AusTRAYa [a totally different nation to the one of which I’m supposedly a citizen, I’m sure] has been even more biased and pathetic than ever before.  If an AusTRAYan athlete isn’t in an event, it isn’t shown or referred to.  And even if an AusTRAYan athlete is in an event, aforesaid event will only be televised if they have a chance at gold.  Forget silver or bronze, or a great showing, it’s only the golds that matter. 

And not just any gold but swimming swimming swimming fucking SWIMMING.  You’d think it’s the only sport the AusTRAYans compete in with all the repeated coverage of semi-finals, interviews, in depth analysis and highlights and OTT patriotic fervour and raising to the level of Gods when they win [but remember, only when they win].  If I have to see anymore interviews with Stephanie Rice and Leisel Jones again I’ll scream.

Okay so they are brilliant athletes, yes I GET IT.  They are exceptionally talented, trained bloody hard and it paid off – and suddenly it’s AusTRAYa’s medal!  We did it!  Yay!

Oh holy fuck, etc.

[The fact that there were AusTRAYans competing in other sports comes as a complete surprise – until they win a Gold / Silver / Bronze Medal.  Then it’s sudden cuts to the action, interviewers all over the poor overwhelmed panting athlete, then multiple showings of the last five seconds of “The Win”.  Argh.  The Aussies did brilliantly on the water – not just in it – and on track and field et al but you wouldn’t bloody know it because here’s more highlights of the semi-finals men’s something something 400 metres at the Water Cube W00T!]

. . . . . . . . . .

Of course this year I’ve been wanting to watch as many and as much of the Equestrian events as I can; the Team Three Day Event, and then the Team and Individual Dressage and Show-Jumping.  Oh, a hollow laughing …

There was no approximate programming time or coverage of the eventing dressage despite the fact the Australians were in the lead at that stage.  We got a few minutes here and there of the cross-country – Australians only of course, with the occasional glimpse of another nation’s backside or drastic mistake … A bit more of the show jumping because ooh AusTRAYa was in with a chance at the GOLD!!!

Oh yes, not only did the coverage of the equestrian events suck, the sportsmanship / commentary was truly shaming – I was cringing.  I wanted to switch my passport for that EU / Irish one IMMEDIATELY please.

There were two commentators for the eventing, one very cultured / English, the other excessively Strine.  The cultured / English bloke knew what he was talking about; the other did not.  He kept confusing riders from USA and Australia – okay they were both female riders on grey horses but um hello?  Different colours, saddle pads, riders?  Duh.  And he kept comparing the action to the Melbourne Cup and Grand National – about the only horse-related activity he knew of, I think.  Duh again.  The final insult was the constant unrelated inconsequential yap-yap-yap, verbal diarrhoea, must fill this space somehow, like commentators at a cricket match descending to desultory chat about seagulls ARGH.

The Germans were absolutely amazing, it was such a treat to watch and there’s this bloody moron yakking on and coming off with such delightful quotes as “let’s hope they knock a few poles down for AusTRAYa”.  Yes, like that’s the Germans top priority.  No comments at all on the sheer beauty, skill, talent, whatever.  Just the medal tally.  And oh the disappointment and sudden switch back to the Water Cube when the Aussie team only got a Silver.  Shame on them!

. . . . . . . . . .

So needless to say, no I did NOT see Anky or Isabell in the Individual Grand Prix or Freestyle, which makes me want to cry, I was aching to see those two;  and given all the completely fucked up digital rights management shite I never will and gosh I am so pissed off I can’t do anything more than splutter.  [Well I could swear a bit more but I think I’ve gone over even my limit.]

So what did I miss?  What were your impressions of the Beijing Olympics – regardless of country / event?

. . . . . . . . . .

ETA:  And to the AusTRAYan interviewer who pounced on Tamsyn Lewis after the Women’s 800 m Semi-final; watch out, boy . . .   Because I’ve got a rusty, blunt carving knife that’s thirsting to saw your bollocks off really, really slowly, you bastard.  The girl gave everything she could, and came in last.  That’s enough punishment for a focused, high tuned athlete.  To shove a massive microphone [penis replacement?] in her sobbing face and ask how she feels was vile behaviour.  To keep on at her, after her brave honest admission the other girls were too good for her, about “how d’ya feeeeeel?” “what haaaaaappened out there?” is serious harassment and fucking gross.   DIE FUCKER DIE.

So much for Olympic spirit eh.

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  • D  On Wednesday 27 August 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I’m sorry to say it’s the same here. Granted, we didn’t have as many medal prospects early on, so RTE did a decent job of covering as many sports as they could, but once we had three boxers in the medals, our official base became the Workers’ Stadium. If I saw one more studio interview with Michael Carruth (gold in ’92) or Bernard Dunne (random pro) I was going to put my foot through the telly.

    But yeah, the BBC covered very little outside of “Team GB” and NBC is legendary for its jingoism.

    In other news today, it has emerged that most people suck.

  • Tux  On Thursday 28 August 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Well, softball is gone, and I’m on the look out for something a bit more traditional that will bring people back to the fold….

    Olympic Impaling! Only insteead of the Atheletes being impaled, they shall be the Impaler’s with the commentators on the receiving end…. as the ad says ‘Lifes Good.’

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