10 Realities of Watching the 2012 London Olympics

Since I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the Olympics. Whether it was going to a basketball game in the 1984 Olympics (still have newspapers of the LA Times from those 2 weeks), or the trip down to Atlanta in 1996, I’ve always enjoyed the cross-cultural competition the Olympics brings. 

Other than the fact that watching the Olympics this year on TV is more challenging than ever due to the way NBC is choosing to broadcast across its family of networks (I don’t have cable), it is has the potential to be the most memorable Olympics in recent memory.

10 Realities of Watching the 2012 London Olympics

Here are 10 realities of watching the 2012 Olympics.

1.) The Olympics Are Exciting

Whether you are in the US or not, the Olympics are down right exciting. There’s nothing like rooting on your own country in an event. Here in the US we are very spoiled to have a great number of athletes across nearly every sport, as such we have a lot to cheer about.

Yet, every athlete there has a story to tell, consider South African swimmer Chad Le Clos beating his ‘idol’ Michael Phelps. Not only was he surprised immediately after the race, but there was some carry over. In a classy move Michael Phelps graciously reminded him to hold his medal for the photo on the podium.

2.) If You Watch, Sleep Deprivation

I pretty much cutout TV altogether in January of 2011. I’ve made an exception for the Olympics. Other than realizing how much I don’t miss TV (advertising in particular), I found my family and I staying up late to get the full experience NBC offers.

3.) You’ll Watch Sports You’d Never Otherwise Watch

Shot put and water polo are not my top sports, yet I’ve been watching them. Why? Because there is a story behind each athlete that is still developing, and you want to see the outcome of their Olympic dream.

4.) You May Know Results but Will Watch Anyway

“RESULTS ALERT” is what the local news channel puts on the screen prior to sharing outcomes of events that have not yet aired on prime time (time difference). It seems many of us will watch anyway? Why? The story behind the the victory is often more interesting than the victory itself.

5.) The Olympics are Inspirational

Gabrielle Douglas (THOMAS COEX/AFP/GettyImages)

There is a theme here, stories abound in Olympics. When you learn of the sacrifices made by athletes and their family and friends for them to have a chance to be an Olympic champion. Consider 16 year old gymnast Gabi Douglas who didn’t win a major competition until July 2012 at the Olympic trials. She is now the first women of color to be an Olympic gymnast all-around champion.

Missy Franklin Colorado Gold Medalist (courtesy of @nbcolympics)

Let’s not forget 17 year old swimmer Missy Franklin. Set to start her senior year of high school just a few miles from where I live. Missy is now a world record holder and a so far a four-time Olympic gold medalist. I think she has a few stories to tell about her summer break when she goes back to school later this month.

Last but not least, how about the South African track and field athlete, the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic games? Oscar Pistorius has an amazing story, and is competing for medals in multiple track events. See his historic run here.

6.) Watching is a Great Family Activity

I cannot recall how many times my 10 and 13 year old have said, “I love the Olympics!” It is great to hear the stories of these athletes, and cheer them on together. It can be a great family activity.

7.) All that Glitters is Not Gold

Moving to the business side of the Olympics… As a part of the global recession, things are tight out there. Which is why I’m not too surprised to learn that the Gold medals are hardly made of gold at all, actually about 1.34% gold. Read more here.

Perhaps this is how it has always been, but it seems to me a medal which is 93% silver should be called silver, no?

While the medal isn’t pure gold, perhaps the opportunities given to Olympic champions is where the real gold is.

For example, some say that Gabi Douglas opportunities mean millions.

One can buy a lot of real gold with that I guess.

8.) Michael Phelps makes this the most memorable Olympics in History

Most decorated Olympian.

Most Olympic enthusiasts agree, you’ll look back on the 2012 Olympics and recall the sensational feats of Michael Phelps. The most decorated Olympian ever, and we got to witness it. He now has 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold. He has swum his last race, according to Phelps. Yet at 27, he could easily compete four years from now, at 31 years old in Rio. Which brings us to the next reality.

9.) The Olympics Hints of the Olympics to Come – Rio 2016

Before you know it the Olympics will be over (more on that in a moment), but not without giving a size able dose of what is to come. In four years time, the Olympics will be hosted in Rio De Janiero Brazil (site). No doubt this will be a very colorful and festive time in Brazil. I for one, would love to be there. Will be interesting to see how Brazilians entertain the world for 2 weeks in August 2016, especially after having been the worlds focus for the entire month of June 2014, when they host the World Cup Soccer tournament.

10.) When it’s Over, You’ll Want More

…And that’s the point. To understand we are in a global community that seems to be getting smaller and smaller in the Internet age. At the end of the closing ceremonies, you may agree that all good things must come to an end. You’ll want more, but have to wait another four years to learn who is going to be the next teenage Olympic sensation. Four years until you hear the many stories and sacrifice made for many to get to Rio.

I (with my antenna TV) will be watching, will you?

Sound off in the comments section below with your own realities of these Olympics.