Wow! Those were quite the Olympics. The past two nights I've just kind of stared at my blank TV wondering where all the volleyball highlights were. Thankfully, American's who thought they couldn't get enough of Misty May-Treanor will get to see her chasse on the new season of Dancing With the Stars!
Since Sunday's Closing Ceremonies, a few questions have been on my mind (other than what the point of interviewing Michael Phelps in London was. Did anyone get anything out of that other than to confirm that there is in fact a British equivalent to Ryan Seacrest? Lucky them...). Looking forward to London in 2012...
1) How can London top Beijing's Opening Ceremonies? Aside from raising King Arthur from the dead and having him pull Excalibur out of a stone before using it to light the torch, I'm not sure we're going to see an Opening Ceremony like that again. If London's bit during the Closing Ceremonies was any indication, they're going to rely on a theme of "China's show may have been exotic, incredibly choreographed and awesomely inventive, but we have celebrities you recognize." Although Beijing did have Jackie Chan singing on Sunday!
2) What will the featured events be for the Brits? After 2004, China made a concentrated effort to focus on gymnastics, diving, table tennis and badminton...and it paid off in a huge gold medal haul. But the UK cleaned up in track cycling, they're definitely going to want to do well in soccer, and I'm sure they'll be a factor in rowing. If you go to the London venue page, they are hyping the velodrome and its 6,000 seats. Great news for cycling fans.
3) Will there be any new events? BMX and open water swimming had pretty exciting debuts. I've heard rumblings that golf and squash are on the list. Anybody know of anything else? I imagine darts would be a great sport to debut in London.
4) Speaking of open water swimming, I wonder where it will be held. The Thames? Maybe 10K out from the city in the English Channel and just have the athletes swim in? OK, probably not.
5) Will the pool be as fast as Beijing's? A majority of swimming races at these past games saw world records set. A majority of those had more than one person or relay team surpass the existing w.r. Sure the LZR suits helped, but there was no doubt that Beijing built a fast pool. I imagine London will look to do something similar.
6) Can the U.S. track team get back on track? Granted, on paper they did pretty well. But to track aficionados (and NBC studio hosts) we could have done a little bit better. How will USA Track & Field respond? Maybe Jerry Colangelo is available...
7) And finally, going beyond 2012, does Russia deserve to host the 2014 Winter Games? They blatantly broke the Olympic truce on the night of the Opening Ceremonies by invading Georgia. Sochi, the site of the 2014 Olympics, lies just several miles from the Georgian border. Yet IOC president Jacques Rogge felt content to save his criticisms during these past Games for Usain Bolt's post-race "antics." Please. What will it take between Georgia and Russia to affect the 2014 Winter Olympics? Let's hope something is worked out and aren't raising eyebrows in a few years as we can watch Vancouver hand over the flag to Sochi.
But until the next Games, I'll be rooting hard for Chicago's 2016 bid and keeping my eye on that Taylor Phinney kid. I hear he's got potential.