It's been a while since a new edition of The Line Up, my column on my current TV habits. In the dearth of summer TV programming, their usually isn't much to watch. That all changed on Friday though, with the arrival of the 2008 Olympic Games.
I don't know what it is about the Olympics, but I really become obsessed with watching them when they roll around. Especially the summer games. Normally, there is no way I watch swimming, diving, or track and field events. But you add that level of global competition and national pride, and something clicks inside me.
It's really the scope of the games that gets me. Close to 150 countries vying to be the best in the world, not only for personal glory, but for all the people of their nation. It's really a moving experience.
I didn't get to see all of the opening ceremony, but what I did see looked spectacular. The size and grandiose effects the Beijing has put forth has assuaged any doubts I may have had about China hosting the games, and about their ability to step up as a super power. I think this helps China, offering a better look than mostly gets reported about the country.
In terms of the events, I have watched a ton of coverage, including Women's Fencing and Badminton (so you know that I have the Olympic fever if I am watching that!) I was especially impressed with the cross country bicycle race. The back drop for the ride included Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven AND the Great Wall of China. Just incredible. This week will see them amping up swimming and diving events which I really root for, as well as gymnastics which I really get into, but again only at the Olympics, Add the drama surrounding men's basketball with the "Redeem Team" and their quest for gold, this is going to be one of the best games ever.
Do yourself a favor and tune in. Every fours years we can get a small glimpse of something that brings the world together in both a spirit of competition and national pride. This is chance to watch greatness and a chance to see something historic. Not only China's rise to a super power, but the globalization of sports across the world. I can't wait to see more.
End of Line.