In Other Words

Olympic Time Runs All The Time These Days, And Generates Unusual Events

IT’S OLYMPIC TIME!  OLYMPIC TIME IS THAT TIME when the clock stops working and the sports events keep going 24-7.
Or at least it would appear that way these days. NBC’s Olympic coverage starts at around 1 a.m. and doesn’t end. That’s because the events are in England, some six hours away.
So, unless you want to get up at 4 in morning to see one of the most interesting contests firsthand, you get a lot of tape delays.You can still get up at 4 am. these days because the network is showing events you probably wouldn’t have considered watching at those hours.
Such as ping-pong. Or archery. What’s next? Tiddly winks?The fact is there are so many Olympic events that it is impossible to view all of them, even with four channels  covering them.
One thing you can count on, though, is getting your share of unusual sports. Enough to last for another four years. It’s a great break from the  routine and gives those athletes you never even thought about during the previous four years, a little bit of recognition.
Such as shooting expert Kimberly Rhode. She’s won a medal in every Olympics since 1996. And is the gold medalist this year in skeet shooting. She broke 99 skeets out of 100 to set an Olympic record. Watching that must have been as exciting as watching an episode of Pawn Stars when the boys go to the range to test out an old gun.
But it is an Olympic sport that has been around for a long time. There are lots of others that probably will never make the TV screen on any of the NBC channels.
Such as horse-back riding. Er, what they call Equestrian. An Olympic endeavor if there ever was one. I suppose you could combine shooting and horseback riding to come up with a western biathlon.
And then there’s sailing. Skidding across the water in a racing boat is an English tradition. The English have dominated the seven seas for hundreds of years. So what could be finer than the sight of a yacht crew fighting the wind and manning the halyards?
Or Mountain biking. The perfect sport for the backyard trickster. We even got some whitewater double kayaking! Yikes!
The point is the Olympics have gone well beyond track and field into just about every human endeavor that can be turned into a game. That’s one thing about human kind. We can make sport out of just about everything. And usually do at Olympics time.
ON A SADDER NOTE we have to wonder about the large number of people who are out of work and the large amount of money spent for a two week foray into competition.
The opening ceremony alone cost $42 million to stage. That was complete with a history of Britain the singing of Paul McCartney. He must be a little tired of cranking out “Hey, Jude” on command. It’s only been about 40 years since he first sung those lyrics, but, with the world watching, what better way to promote oneself.
We’d like to see some of those funds channeled into more lasting programs which meet the needs of the families who were left living on the streets. Perhaps in the form of shelters and other living quarters. Will that ever happen? No, but it is still a noble thought.
CBS showed a segment Sunday about homeless people living in motels, living on the street and living in the backs of moving vans. When they were able to get help and get a place to live, they found employment rapidly and got themselves back on their feet.
Perhaps some of the Olympic  stories will inspire some of them to do more and also inspire those with the power to do more to help them too. Like we said, it is a nice thought.
THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER KEEP DRAGGING ON – It hardy pays to go outside these days, even with the rain we got yesterday (Monday).
But it won’t be long before schools are beginning to open once again and the farm crews are out working the fields once more.
Summer never lasts long  enough, even when you live in the desert. It’s more a state of mind than a season of the year out here. Watch the pages of your local newspaper for a shift in activities from leisure to work related soon, but not too soon we hope.