I’ve tolerated the pink wash of the gymnastics arena. I’ll admit in the heat of the women’s competition the other night, I was revved up by all the pink. I could barely make out the gymnasts in their red, or was it pink, leotards. That’s okay, too. I’m good at squinting. But when they were on the podium accepting their gold medals, after their tear-jerking, emotionally driven reality-tv aired footage…more on this in a minute…what do I see the American gymnasts wearing on the podium but gray, yellow, and purple.
Huh? I’ll admit their attire is snazzy in a Star Trek, futuristic, Kingdom of Oz kind of way. I understand Ralph Lauren designed their outfits. Or, was it Nike?The tops expose sleek lines, showing off the athletes’ well-defined musculature. And, the hoods are quite fetching. I supposed we had to brighten the gray with yellow sneakers. Clever. Purple? I’m not even sure where that came in. Maybe they were holding purple flowers or was it the ribbon medal? I can’t even remember. But who I am to dispute this tasteful choice of clothing?
It’s simply that I’m accustomed to certain colors. For example, we say a red glass of wine is red, not green. And, green grass, well, it’s green…not orange. Or, wait a minute. Is this one of those things where we’ve been conditioned to accept that the sky is blue, not yellow. Like that? It could be yellow, but we know it as blue. Is it simply a trend? Next Olympics will the athletes will be wearing a whole plethora of wildflower colors. The Olympic rings are colorful, are they not?
One venue that has been absent of an array of colors is the pool, at least on TV. With the pool we have blue. Nice calm, pool blue. You’ll notice that the sidings are blue, like the pool. It’s as if the organizers said, “No, we’re not having any of that pink here. ” Perhaps, a portion of the lane lines are pink, or it could be my TV. Or, maybe my brain has now rewired the colors. The colors that should be red, white, and blue, now grey, yellow, and purple. Got it?
The pool….yes. On to other more important topics. How about that Michael Phelps achieving his 19th Olympic medal? History was made, and I’m touched that he could share this moment with his teammates defending the Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay title. I was on the edge of my seat, cheering. Yes, I get emotional. I have to hide my face and pretend I’m not shedding tears. Oh, just coming down with a cold is all.
I remember witnessing another historic moment in gymnastics when Nadia scored her perfect 10, and it showed up as 1.0, confusing the hell out of all of us. I, too, was a gymnast at that point in my life. It had stirred up a wistful hope that I, too, could be an Olympian like Nadia. Little did I know that I would quit the sport only a couple of years later. Still, I remember that time of my life fondly when the Olympic dream was alive inside of me, even if only fleetingly.
I suppose this is why I get so emotional when I watch the Olympics. I could never be the parent caught on camera when her child has completed the event or when the results are in. It would not be pretty. I would have to wear a bag over my head. I would be a blubbering mess, tears streaming. Folks at home would say, “Oh, look at her. Hold it together, lady.” But perhaps, these parents are seasoned as they have seen their child compete countless times in their quest for Olympic gold.
But not everyone gets gold, of course. Most go home empty-handed. But just to be at the Olympics is a dream so few experience. The emotions run high, especially when the expectations carry such weight. Such a tremendous weight, in fact, I’m surprised the Russian gymnasts could even get off the ground. The pressure bearing down on them, and the outpouring of emotions when they didn’t quite get it.
It all came down to a tumbling pass…
Wait a second….I mean two tumbling passes actually. But NBC decided to air only one of them, toying with our emotions so that our TV watching experience could be what, more exciting? Evoke more tears? NBC, are you making a joke out of my tears? This decision was quite deliberate it would seem. Since the Russians did not fulfill two tumbling passes adequately, the Americans clinched the gold before they even began their floor routines.
Did they think we weren’t going to find out? Are they mocking my emotions and my intelligence? These gymnasts on the podium stand with integrity and deserve to be there. I hold this broadcaster to the same standard. Now act like it. Shame, shame. The Olympics is not reality television. People want the actual real thing. The athletes, dedicating years and years to their sport, deserve to have their events documented and aired as truthfully as possible.
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