Random Thoughts on the Olympics #4 by Lian Dolan

Now, I am a little annoyed with the Chinese. The fireworks controversy?
Really, who couldn't tell that was CGI, especially if you had an HD set
? To me, that controversy is really about Matt Lauer's vague
announcing, not the Chinese trying to put one over on us. Even in the
moment, I said to my kids, "Those are animated, not real." And the
little girl singing? It's a time honored Hollywood tradition to dub in
for the pretty girl. Hey, Disney did it with Zac Ephron in the original
High School Musical. But those gymnasts? As my sister Monica said this
morning on a conference call, "No amount of blue eye shadow could make
those girls look 16." I hope the US women go out there and get some
Gold in the individual events. Now onto more random thoughts...

-- Finally some pandas in primetime! Yes!

- Like to see more mascots...

I miss Katie Couric. She had a depth of knowledge and a love for sport
and the athletes that is missing on the Today Show ( And certainly at
the Opening Ceremonies. Katie would have said out loud, "Those are
computer generated fireworks"). Meredith is trying her best, but no one
can replace Katie in this realm.

- In the great Sport/Not a
Sport debate I have to put Synchro Diving and Team Table Tennis in the
Not a Sport category. While I enjoy and admire the individual diving
and table tennis and declare them "Sport" , the team version of both
these event falls in the "Skill" area for me. The difficulty and
athleticism are just far below the individual versions of these events.
In the table tennis, just too many people for a tiny surface. Looks
like they are trying to get a drink at a crowded happy hour, not
competing at the Olympic level. And with the diving, you'll know what I
mean when the individual diving begins. I was at the US Diving
championships in Pasadena a few weeks ago and left after a round of
synchro. It just can not compare to the real deal. Sorry.

There is an Olympian named Tonya Harding!!! Yes! She is an Australian
softball pitcher and she pronounces her name more "Tan" than "Ton" .
But I laughed out loud while watching the US v. Aus game last night.
Mind your kneecaps!

-My heart breaks for those women
softball players knowing that this will be their last Olympics and
possible the beginning of the end for their sport internationally.
Jennie Finch broke down on HBO while talking about how much softball
has meant to her and it got to me.

-- While the prime time
coverage is distinctly pro-American, the daytime coverage is filled
with profiles of athletes from other countries. And their medal
ceremonies. Tivo it.

- White water kayaking is fantastic to
watch and even better when a guy from Togo takes home a medal. The
white water venue looks like the best water park ride ever.

is it possible that the men's water polo players can look so
unbelievable while wearing bonnets? Is it the suits? More water polo in
primetime, less beach volleyball.

--That being said, Kerry Walsh
and Misty May-Trainor are awesome athletes and great competitors. They
really want to win and I love watching that.

-- Katie Hoff, Katie Hoff, Katie Hoff. Hang in there.


More tomorrow. Lian