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Day by Day: Enough already. Are the Olympics over yet?

It probably isn't a shock to anyone who knows us that an entire two weeks of television devoted to one hard body after another isn't the Heatons favorite thing to watch. The truth is we enjoy the Olympics as much as the next guy -- with a few exceptions.

We were dazzled right along with the rest of the world with the 2,008 drummers in the opening ceremony, even if all that banging by all those rather angry looking guys was kind of intimidating, even with their coached smiles. And I felt for the little girl who had the right voice for a big stadium but more of a face for radio. I feel her pain.

We jumped right into swimming and gymnastics. Kevin started griping about why we weren't seeing more "traditional Olympic sports." This from a man who thinks vacuuming should count as exercise.

He wanted to see Greco Roman wrestling, the javelin, the discus and the decathlon. We tried to explain they were all there, it's just that he's too cheap to buy cable.

And what would worldwide competition be without grown men riding those little bikes up and down hills and volleyball on the beach? I couldn't wait to tell him that they are actually considering adding ballroom dancing to the mix. Does that mean Marie Osmond has a chance at being an Olympian? She'd be my choice if they add having kids as an event.

What wasn't to love about the Michael Phelps story? He makes being a mama's boy a good thing. And how can I get the new king of endorsements my daughter's picture? I have to admit to wondering about the rest of the Phelps family. Somehow I think there must be a dorky, dry-docked cousin Myron somewhere, wondering how he got shorted in the gene pool.

We all had fun guessing at the real ages of the Chinese gymnasts and how long they had been out of booster car seats. I couldn't help but wonder what a girl has to look forward to after she's conquered the balance beam at 16. But does it have any real-world application? Just imagine if I had been able to do one of those tumbling runs down the hallway, all the while yelling at the kids to clean their rooms or else. It might have had quite an impressive effect.

We watched the 15-year-old Chinese diver win the gold last night. I thought it was funny that they kept commenting on how little splash she made. Duh! She was shaped like a butter knife and weighed about the same. Hips are such waste of space. They called her winning dive one for the ages. She's 15. How long is an "age" these days?

And beach volleyball. Did any of you notice that the women wore bikinis while the men wore not just long shorts, but shirts as well? And what's with the cheerleaders, all women, no men. Kevin seemed surprised that the Chinese team wore bikinis at all. I think he was expecting kind of modified Mao suits -- gray tweed with a little spandex. It's hard to take a sport seriously that doesn't seem complete without brats and beer at the end.

All in all, it has been fun to watch. What must it feel like to be able to do something, anything, so fast or precise or with such power? It takes an Olympic-size imagination to even go there.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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