Meh, USA Olympic medals, who cares?

I like the Olympics, I really do. Like to see the competition, see the smiles, and admire the athletic superhuman feats. I like the profiles of Olympians, the vagaries of the games and the sports that are surprisingly idiosyncratic and fun to watch (archery, fencing). Track and field and swimming obviously are highlights.

BUT, sometimes, just sometimes I wish I was Lithuanian, or Algerian or Togolese. I wish my country had 1 athlete (or team) that medaled because I honestly feel like that it would have more significance from a national pride perspective. I wish there was one olympic parade in the capital city, one big blowout party, one name and event and glorious victory seared into the collective memory of a generation. Alas, no. “We” won 110 medals in Beijing. Ho-hum. I don’t root against Americans, but I can’t say I care too much when they don’t win.

C’mon East Timor!

I must confess there is something exhilarating about being the underdog. We Brits fully expect to win a ton of cycling and rowing medals but none of that will come close to the thrill of seeing our male gymnastics team winning their first medal (bronze) in 100 years. Sobbing I was.

I like the summer Olympics (not so much the winter) but I hate watching it because it seems like the only things being broadcast are the American athletes. I want to see everyone else too!

I was in Montreal in 1976, which was the biggest athletic FAIL of a summer Olympics host nation ever. It was the only time the host didn’t win a single gold medal. It wasn’t fun being that much of an underdog.

Then, eight years later, by total coincidence, I was living in Los Angeles in 1984. The US normally does well in the Olympics but because of the communist boycott they did phenomenally. So now my home was doing fantastic. It was a little embarassing but still a lot better than the absolute nothing that Canada experienced in 1976.

By any chance do you have cable or dish for your TV? If yes, you can watch pretty much anything at I spend an hour last night watching archery, with a little womens fencing thrown in.

I got rid of cable a few months ago so I can’t watch anything any more, not even the Americans. :frowning:

It’s actually kind of sad that we don’t pay Olympians. Some of them are quite broke. Not all can make a Visa commercial and earn millions.

Some don’t even have health insurance, even though the US Olympic Committee can certainly afford to pay these people.

So for some of these athletes…a medal is going to pay the bills. (: For others, it’s “I Went to the Olympics and All I Got Was a Lousy Gold Medal Made of Silver!”

For this reason, I get extra-happy when I see one of our guys win a medal. I mean, damn, it can be a thankless job if you’re an archer or a volleyball player.

I’m American, and will always cheer on athletes from my country, but I’m pulling for Canada. Their summer medal count has traditionally been much lower than that of Australia, even though Australia has a smaller population.

If we take out the swimming we don’t do so good, I am one of the minority of Aussies who can’t stand the swimming. Boring! Give me sport that has tactics and where I can observe the skills of the sportsperson. Cycling, Athletics, Fencing, Basketball, etc all come to mind but swimming except for the relays are boring…

I look at these athletes and think of the vast amount of time (and money) it took, along with unbelievable dedication, to get up every damned day and practice, practice, practice. On dark rainy, cold days, on wonderful warm sunny days, they went to practice - avoiding the crap fast food they probably crave, not going to parties and movies and dances with friends - just practice, practice and more practice.

My niece’s daughter has been playing softball since she was about 6 or 7. She got really good at it fast, and then started going to those teams you pay to play. My niece has schlepped her daughter across the US, going from one tournament to the next. The costs have been outrageous - travel, housing, club dues, tournament dues, equipment, Living in Arizona, they spend about 11 1/2 months out of the year going from one softball game/tournament to the next.

So now my niece’s daughter is a sophomore, soon to be a junior in high school. Colleges are taking notice - scholarships are forthcoming (and there has already been some interest expressed). So, has it been worth it? Well, she is an amazing, talented girl with great grades, so a college scholarship is going to be life changing. But she has spent every waking moment, living and breathing softball, to get to this level.

So, for all of those athletes, and their parents, they deserve every medal they get for all of the hours and hours and hours of practice it has take to get them where they are today! That momentary diversion you watch on the sofa while eating some ice cream is the culmination of years and years of effort by that athlete - it all comes down to that very minute. They should all get a medal of some kind.

I don’t want to take anything way from them because I think most extraordinary accomplishments are admirable but it gets a little much when the ‘hero’ label gets thrown out for Olympic athletes. No they aren’t, at least for any reason to do for practicing a sport for an insane amount of time. They just have a really specialized skill and there are a universe of thousands of those, most of which don’t have anything equivalent to the Olympics. Good for them on following through with something for a really long-time but let’s not make more out of it than it is.

**Meh, USA Olympic medals, who cares?

Apparently, the IRS cares. A lot.

Oh my god, Olympians aren’t exempted from Federal law? These people are HEROES!

But since the US can compete well in so many events, you get coverage on so much stuff. In Canada, almost every single time I tune in to CTV, it’s aquatics. It seems to be one of the only sports we can compete in, so we get all the coverage. The only other sports I’ve seen were a soccer game and team gymnastics (Canada’s first participation in the final!). I’m so sick of watching diving.