Olympics combine both sports and entertainment

Friday, July 27, 2012

I always enjoy the Olympics. But this year, before they began, I thought I'd hardly want to watch them. I'm a big sports fan, but tuning in to some of the Olympic trials bored the heck out of me. However, after catching a preview of the opening ceremonies, I am now officially intrigued.

Now, you might be wondering what this huge set of sporting events has to do with entertainment. But that's what the Olympics are all about -- putting on a good show for a wide audience. London, the site of this year's games, was partially chosen as the host because it is well known to be great with all of the pomp and circumstance, and won't let the events be anything less than beautiful spectacles.

Then you have the worldwide storylines that make even the most avid sports hater tune in. In 2008, it was the otherworldly performance of U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps that brought something special. I'm not usually one to root for dominance (it's pretty boring when you know the winner before the onset of the competition), but watching Phelps stalk greatness is something I'll remember, and a big reason why I want to watch this year.

Then you have a sampling of sports staples, like basketball and soccer. I hate watching soccer. It wears on me. But when the pride of a nation is on the line, it feels more dramatic and interesting.

There's also added entertainment value thanks to the sports you never get a chance to see normally. Beach volleyball is great. Track and field is exciting. Gymnastics is stunning. Shoot, even fencing is entertaining.

The Olympics expand beyond the sports culture, and tap into our patriotism and love of the underdog. And after you succumb to this electric atmosphere that only comes around every four years, get your fill. Sure, the winter games come around in a couple years, but who could possibly get excited about that?

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