Thoughts on the London Olympics from Brazil- Week Two

Aug 13, 2012


First of all, congrats to London for hosting a great Olympics. Everything seemed to flow smoothly. The events were incredible and it was an exciting two weeks. I even sat and watched the closing ceremonies (a first). It was a great show, even though I did wonder if I was watching an induction ceremony for the British Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

How about those American women? They picked up the gold and silver medals in Beach Volleyball. A very good Brazilian team captured the bronze. I really believe that if the ancient Greeks had had Women’s Beach Volleyball, the Olympics would have never died out in the first place. That is all that I will say about that!

My favorite Track and Field moment was when Robert Harting, of Germany, won the gold medal for the discus throw. I was flipping between channels, however, and all I saw was his celebration. He ripped his shirt off and then ran down the track jumping hurdles. Because the commentary was in Portuguese, I didn’t know what was going on. I thought he was a drunk fan that got loose on the field!

I know there were many memorable moments in gymnastics but the only one that I am going to mention is this photo. Clearly sixteen year old American gymnast McKayla Maroney was not happy with her silver medal in the vault and let the world see her displeasure. I raised two daughters and I saw that look a lot!

maroneyLike I mentioned in last week’s Olympic post, the Brazilian television coverage has been excellent. For whatever reason, US networks feel the need to show lots of back stories and human interest pieces. The amount of actual Olympic events, especially live coverage of events, is very minimal in the US.

Brazilian television has four cable channels and they all four showed different live events. There was little to no human interest stories about the athletes. Instead, the viewer could watch one Olympic event after the other.

Brazilian Olympic coverage also had minimal commercial interuptions. For example, there is a one minute rest period in between rounds for Olympic boxing. NBC is going to cram two or three commercials into that one minute. Here, they may have two or three entire fights before they break for a commercial. During breaks and timeouts, the cameras often stay on the athletes and coaches. These moments were usually more entertaining and enlightening than another Miller Lite commercial.

Not understanding the Portuguese commentary was not a bad thing either. My theory is that most commentators say the same kinds of banal things all over the world. It was enough to hear “Spectacular!” over and over again as I watched the US men’s basketball team dominate the world!

What were your favorite moments of the London Olympics?

If you would like to help us touch lives in Brazil, here is the link. Obrigado! (Thank you!)


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