This blog’s got Olympic Fever, and I think it’s catching!

4 08 2008

Everybody has their irrational loves. Cats. Toast. Small elephant collectibles. Football. One-shot PARANIOA campaigns.

I. Love. The Olympics.

I mean, this is serious love. This is waiting-with-breath-baited love. This is printing-out-schedules-of-events-and-hanging-up-said-schedules-in-dormitory-lounges love. This is the kind of love that caused me to buy a cell phone dangley of this year’s Olympics mascots a year before the Olympics began.

You know what I love almost as much as the Olympics?

China.

So, you can imagine the kind of mood I’m in this week. I have been following this year’s pre-Olympics news extremely closely this year, from the politics to the problematic visa situation to the mascots, and all that’s in between. I’ve done a lot of listening and a lot of reading and a lot of thinking about this whole upcoming Olympics. But this Thursday, all of that stigma’s going to take a step back for me, and I’m going to sit back, relax, and enjoy these Olympic games. And I’m going to be happy for China, for the people of China, for my students in Hefei and Shanghai who were so excited about China having the Olympics this year, because I know how much this means to them. And I’m going to be happy and excited for all of the athletes, particularly those from smaller counties, who are about to experience the biggest honor I think a sportsperson can experience; walking into that Olympic stadium, carrying their country’s flag.

But enough sentiment. Due to this being a very special Olympic year, where not one, but two of my irrational loves are coming together for a fantastic two-week period of personal unemployment, I have decided that this blog needs to get into the spirit of games. I had originally intended to attend the Beijing Olympics (true story, actually; I was in China last summer, but planned to return this summer with my family to see the games, but due to money shortages, visa complications, employment confusion and illness, we were unable to get out act together in time and so are sadly restricted to watching the games from the distance of our living room) and to do some very basic on-site blogging with news from Life At The Games. However, since that’s no longer an option to me, I have decided to do the next best thing: become the Conventioneers’ official Olympics Correspondent! HOORAY!!!!!

This exciting announcement comes with a bit of a warning, though. As much as I passionately love the Olympics….I know jack shit about sports.

This is probably not entirely accurate. I have dabbled in the sports world. I rock climb. I’m a great swimmer. I do gymnastics. I have dabbled in soccer, have attended baseballs games, and watch the Superbowl religiously. I have ice skated, cross-country skiied, tried to run distance, and longed to be a pole vaulter. That said, though…well, I’m a geek. I majored in linguistics. I get excited at the prospect of drawing a sentence’s D-structure. I’ve spent hours researching Chinese chengyu and reading about metaphor. Tonight I had a conversation about the LOLcat programming language.

So you can see why I would be a bit of an interesting choice to be our blog’s Official Olympics Correspondent.

But here’s what I promise: what I lack in sports knowledge, I will make up for in entertaining writing. I’ll report accurately and amusingly. I’ll include snippets of Fun Facts About China and smatterings of pictures and Chinese phrases that would be useful to you if you happened to be at the Beijing Olympics (for example, “我要休息一下” means “I want to nap”). Basically, I’ll make the Olympics fun. I’d like to take this opportunity to share my irrational loves of the Olympics and China with those who read this blog. I love sharing things that I like with people that I like, and I’m excited to do so in the coming fortnight.

So get excited everyone! 8/8/08! China LOVES the number 8! It’s good luck! Be ready for the games! 北京欢迎你!

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2 responses

5 08 2008
Dan

I’ve also always had a soft spot for the Olympic games. It was a very pure joy when I was a child and didn’t think much about politics and just saw all these nations coming together to celebrate great athletes. I still think there is something pure there, despite the complications.

Anyway, I’m very glad you’re reporting this! Care to use your Olympic mania to dig up the schedules for all the fencing events and find out which ones will be broadcast? (This is extra credit, but if you really like doing it, I wouldn’t mind.)

5 08 2008
Dan

That was this Dan, by the way.

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