Olympic Exhaustion

August 16, 2008 at 7:54 pm 38 comments

I’m sure others are experiencing this too, so I had to mention it. Abraham and I have spent every night this week staying up way too late to watch the Olympics. Here are some of my observations:

  • They show the hottest events/sports later in the prime time slot (starting at more like 10pm) so that you watch the lesser-desired events/sports earlier in the time slot while you wait for your favorites. Perfect example: Beach volleyball, though interesting and pretty cool, just doesn’t come close to the women’s all-around gymnastics competition for most people. But you just keep watching and watching because you don’t want to miss a minute of the gymnastics.
  • Sports announcers are driveling idiots sometimes. I think because they basically have to be talking every single minute, they just come out with some of the most off-the-wall stuff. They went on and on about how Phil Dalhausser made the transition from balding to shaving like a cue ball.
  • I’m not that impressed with Michael Phelps. I mean, he’s an amazing swimmer, but it seems like it’s all about him whenever they show anything swimming related. I’m kind of tired of all the hype. Anyone else?
  • This whole experience is causing us to lose lots of sleep. We stayed up so late every night this week that by Friday night we were completely crashed by 10:15pm. I don’t know how much more of this my body can take.

Entry filed under: Spoutings.

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38 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristen  |  August 16, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I actually have not watched any of the Olympics because I always get so frustrated by the very things you bring up. My husband does all the watching and tells me what’s going on. It’s not nearly as good as seeing it myself, but I’m also not nearly as tired, or irritated that I end up seeing more of the things I don’t really want to see anyway (like beach volleyball!). I did watch part of the opening ceremony with my husband, and that was really cool, but I just haven’t managed to watch anything else, and this post reminded me why.

  • 2. Kristen  |  August 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I just read through your series on “Grief.” Thank you so much for that. I have a really good friend whose baby died last year a couple of hours after he was born due to a severe genetic defect. It was heartbreaking for this couple, but really helpful to read everything you wrote as we continue to remember him.

  • 3. Courtney  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I hear you on the exhaustion. I’ve been staying up way too late to watch the games. I was highly disappointed that I fought sleep until after midnight to see the women’s all-around only to see that it was re-aired the next night at a more humane hour.
    I’m actually pretty impressed with Phelps. He’s super fast that’s for sure. He’s also helped me in the last week. My son was very nervous to start swim lessons. Quite conveniently, the Olympics started and Phelps became his new superhero. Now he’s all about learning to swim.

  • 4. chelseykarns  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve stayed up way too late, too. I’m back and forth about Phelps. He is such an awesome swimmer, and he seems pretty humble. I also like seeing how proud his mom is of him. But I do get super annoyed with the announcers… especially on gymnastics.

  • 5. stacey  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Tell me about it!

  • 6. stacey  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    I also saw this the other day.

    What Phelps eats on any given day:
    Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.

    Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo on white bread. Energy drinks packing 1,000 calories.

    Dinner: One pound of pasta. An entire pizza. More energy drinks.

  • 7. Kirstjen Pratt  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Thankfully we don’t have any tv channels, otherwise I would be in the same boat.

    Right before the Olympics began I asked Josh if we could purchase an antennae for the tv to be able to watch them. His response was, “we can watch them if you get an antennae for free.” Ha! My mom was visiting at the time and slipped me $20 for one. Once I had the cash in my hand I was no longer able to justify using it to purchase something for the tv instead of groceries or gas or saving it for a date night treat.

    I’ve settled for watching the coverage via the internet. Which seems way better! You can choose exactly what sport you want to watch at a time and then skip to any part of the entire broadcast. It might just be the new best way to watch the games!

  • 8. Andrea  |  August 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    You’re not alone. I noticed on Facebook that everyone’s status is “watching Olympics…” I’d like to be watching but we have zero reception and no cable on our TV. During the rest of the year, we like it that way. However this week, I would love to plop down and see the full gymnastics final instead of the highlights on the internet.

  • 9. Nikki  |  August 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Same here with the “staying up too late” thing. 🙂 And even though I’ve been pretty far into the Phelps hype this week (he is a MACHINE!), I did feel bad for the other 3 men in the relay swim tonight – it was as though the interviewers didn’t know they existed, and they even made comments about how the 3 guys “won the gold for Phelps”! Oh well. They all seemed like good sports, at least.

  • 10. Leslie  |  August 16, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Our family has had so much fun watching the Olympic coverage together this week! Usually our tv is off in the evenings. I’m sleepier than usual, though.

    You’re right about the talking heads. Too much talking!! I can’t tell you how many times Hubby and I have looked at each other and said, “What is he trying to say?” My favorite gaff-not-a-gaff came during synchronized diving when the female commentator shouted, “UH-OH, TIDAL WAVE!” Every comment from her regarding the Canadian divers implied that she thought they were fat. It was reediculous.

    It’s not Phelps’ fault everyone is going ga-ga over him. He’s just doing what he does best.

  • 11. Stephanie G  |  August 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    As one who gets up at 5 am for work, I too am feeling the Olympics exhaustion, Molly.

    I will echo Nikki’s comment above and add that during the anthem after the relay tonight, they stayed zoomed in on Phelps’ face the WHOLE time. I may be wrong, but aren’t there 4 men on the 4×100 men’s medley relay team? Weren’t there 3 other Americans standing on the platform listening to their anthem and seeing the flag of their free nation being hoisted higher above the others? Yes, Phelps has accomplished something unprecedented, but all of those men have been breaking records right along with him. Just my thoughts 🙂

  • 12. Karen  |  August 16, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Being that I am from the Baltimore area, I am a Phelps Phan. 🙂 The overexposure is due to the media wanting ratings not him. He is an incredibly talented swimmer though and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my hometown boy break olympic records! The one thing that I will say about him is that he is a team player, unlike Spitz. His teammembers are good sports dealing with the hype probably because he IS one of the guys.

  • 13. Heather  |  August 17, 2008 at 5:55 am

    We have “on demand” with our cable company so we can just watch the top shows with the key highlights. It’s been great, we avoid all the stuff that goes along with the Olymipics. We watch about 20 to 40 minutes of all the highlights.

    The most fun aspect for us is watching our 2 year old (who loves to hang on any bar he can find) watch the gymnastics highlights and looking at us and saying, “I like this!” Then go out to the back yard and try to repete what he saw. Or watching our 3 year old get on the floor and “swim”.

    Have a blessed Sunday

  • 14. Jane Swanson  |  August 17, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Yep! TIred here too, especially my husband. The church secretary told me he’s been yawning all week at the office!

    I was really bummed to push myself to stay up late to watch the woman’s gymnastics and Nastia win the gold and then SEE A REPEAT [as one of your other readers pointed out!] the next day early evening!!

  • 15. Victor P  |  August 17, 2008 at 7:29 am

    “I’m kind of tired of all the hype. Anyone else?” …wow first time Ive heard that from an American ..hehe in Aus here, his hardly mention 😉

  • 16. Kellie  |  August 17, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I have to say I’ve loved watching the Olympics. I find the broadcasters humurous for some reason and I like to know all the little inside stories- maybe that is bad! I like the beach volleyball and even enjoyed watching the marathon- maybe there really is something wrong with me! ! Maybe I’m too naive but I think Phelps seems like a nice guy who is a bit overwhelmed with it all. I don’t really feel sorry for the other guys b/c they know they are part of making history and they did seem very happy for Michael.

  • 17. Molly Piper  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:26 am

    I definitely don’t think all of the hype is Michael Phelp’s fault AT ALL! He is incredibly talented and works VERY hard. But it’s as though the other swimmers don’t work as hard, since their schedules and discipline never get mentioned. But I’m sure they do.

    It’s just the way the media has chosen to cover the whole thing, and personally, it kind of bores me after awhile.

  • 18. Phoebe  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I’m in the same place about Phelps. I really admire him as a swimmer, and so far as I can see, as a person. But it’s crazy how the media just ignores the other talented swimmers on the US team, not to mention the other nationalities. Especially in the relays, the team is only as strong as its weakest member and the US team has few weak members. They all deserve kudos. But then a reporter asks “So how does it feel helping Michael win a gold?” to one of the other relay members. AAAAAARRRGH!

  • 19. Tami@ourhouse  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Ha. This made me laugh! I haven’t watched any olympic tv except last night. I stayed up way too late to watch Michael Phelps… not a good idea for a pastor’s wife on a Saturday night.

    So I haven’t watched enough to be ‘sick’ of Phelps, but one thing I noticed last night was his humility toward his teammates. When they won the race, the first thing he yelled was “Thank you!” to them and then during the interview he gave them all the credit for the win. So that was cool.

    I’m with you about the media coverage, though.

  • 20. Stephanie G  |  August 17, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    To clarify, my earlier comments were against the media and their coverage of Phelps. I have absolutely nothing against Michael Phelps. He appears to be very much a team player and a fairly down-to-earth guy.

  • 21. shawnda  |  August 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Molly, Michael Phelps made Olympic history!!! He’s INCREDIBLE! : ) But we have lost WAY TOO MUCH SLEEP!!! In fact, Jason came home from church today and crashed….he’s still sleeping! We’ve had way too many late nights! The Athens time difference was much easier! : )

  • 22. Rachel S.  |  August 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Pretty funny…last night I woke up halfway into the middle of the relay for Phelps’ 8th gold…I wanted to watch the whole thing, but there’s only so much awakeness when you have a real life to live, too… 🙂

  • 23. Tina  |  August 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Yes, the media seems to ruin everything by going way overboard. I think it’s amazing what the human body can do when disciplined and trained. It really inspires me. My boys have been inspired also… in the pool yesterday they were trying all the different strokes. It was really cute to watch them.

    I felt really bad for Dara Torres last night when she didn’t get the gold medal after all that hard work..

    And thankfully our neighbor has been taping all the good stuff and allowing us to come watch it over again with them without spoiling anything… They are taping the gymnastics again for us tonight because we have chosen not to have TV. (well, no cable ..we only use the TV for occasional videos)
    Sorry for the somewhat long winded comment. Hopefully now that most of the best stuff is done with, you can catch up on some sleep!!

  • 24. Chris  |  August 17, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I also thought it was bad timing that the Obama/McCain interviews at Saddleback Church ran right around the time of the last big Phelps race. I’m sure they didn’t have any idea which races would be at what time when it was scheduled, but we did a lot of channel switching so as not to miss the race.

    Yes, Phelps coverage did dominate, but it was still fun to see him break the records, and he doesn’t seem to be conceited about it even though people are always telling him how great he is. His team seems to have a good attitude and rapport with one another.

    I am extremely disappointed that one of the commentators (a woman) brought up how sexy he is–how inappropriate. Tween’s and teens talking about how cuuuuuuuute he is didn’t surprise me, but sports commentators? Ugh!

  • 25. Heart Gone Walking  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I laughed out loud at your Phil Dalhausser mention. It didn’t bother me the first time they mentioned the entire process it took to go from full-head-of-hair to bald. But by the 241st time, it was a bit repetitive.

    However, that is probably a sign that I’m watching it all waaaaay too much. 🙂

  • 26. Elizabeth Esther  |  August 17, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    If you’re over the hype, blame NBC, not Phelps. Phelps=advertising dollars. This is what it’s all about for NBC. The longer they can drag it out, the more $$ they make. The longer the audience watches, the more advertisers are willing to pay. It’s all about the money.

  • 27. Elizabeth Esther  |  August 17, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    p.s. how much $$ do you guess advertisers paid during last night’s tie-breaking race? i’m guessing at least as much, if not more, than a super bowl spot. (sorry for hogging your blog, molly. i’ll shut up now!)


  • 28. Deron Arnold  |  August 17, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    I’m generally not an Olympics fan. I don’t really agree with spending so much time of one’s life in training for a sport…especially one that doesn’t have a salary with it. It is possible with all the rigorous training to develop a mindset that the the sport itself is one’s religion.

    However, I admit that the rare times I have watched the Olympics, I have been quite impressed. These guys are amazing!

    Imagine if we put such intensity in science, math, language skills, or even in Bible study and evangelism! The Apostle Paul says that whatever we do, we should “work heartily as for the Lord and not for men” (Col 3:23)

    I remember reading a poem many years ago that was quoted by John Piper and went something like this:

    All that’s done for self will pass,
    All that’s done for Christ will last.

  • 29. Angela Caprine  |  August 18, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Hi Molly! I am new to your blog- and have been enjoying it so much! I can relate to you on many issues you write about- the most recent being the selling of your house and feeling very protective of it! I have enjoyed watching the Olympics with my family and thankfully we were on vacation last week, so we were able to sleep in after the late nights of competition! We have enjoyed watching Michael Phelps, but my husband and I notice that He is missing a key thing. When the announcers ask him how he does it, he doesn’t always seem to know what to say, so we answer for him, like what the famous Christian runner Eric LIddel said, “God made me fast, and when I run (or swim) I feel His pleasure.” I pray that someone can clear that up for Phelps- he needs to know so He can give God the Glory!

  • 30. JenR  |  August 18, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I am an Olympics junkie! It is the only time I like watching sports, which is in direct opposition to my husband, who doesnt get into the Olympics at all, but enjoys football and baseball.

    I must admit that in theory I like watching gymnastics and diving, but in practice it is completely miserable for me unless I watch it on mute. I just really dont like hearing to announcers in syncro diving or whatever say “Uh oh, the half back pike flip of Kylemngent was slightly off rotation of her partner Venrorugsve and she splashed a bit on entry which was just shy of vertical. That is going to cost them 5,000 points and so the Chinese maintain their dominance on the springboard”. Ugh!!! Why do they have to be so critical? Come on-everyone watching is pretty much amazed that they can walk to the end of the springboard without throwing up from the height and the pressure. To actually voluntarily lauch themselves off the board and do anything other than a cannonball or bellyflop is almost miraculous.

    I think I have the opposite reaction to Michael Phelps as you. The other day when NBC decided to show almost the entire women’s marathon, I was wondering why they were not just showing all of Phelp’s wins on continuous loop instead. It would have been much more interesting. And this is coming from someone who has run a marathon. But really, watching people run long distances is really boring. Yes, running under 6min miles for 26 miles is super impressive, but to me it is a bit like watching a car drive 10mph for 2.5 hours. I bet this accomplishment was way more fun to watch in the days before cars, but then again, they didnt have TVs either.

  • 31. JenR  |  August 18, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Also, with all the Michael Phelps coverage, I am super thankful for the Speedo Lzr suit. Not just b/c it is a fast suit, but b/c it is infinitely better seeing guys wearing that than those awful micro underwear suits that they used to wear. Oh the humanity!

  • 32. Heidi H  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I find it interesting that the last week of watching all the inspiring athletes has been one of my laziest weeks in recent memory.

  • 33. Amy  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    wow. your blog might be labeled a terrorist threat because you aren’t all about phelps! granted, rach told me to turn on the tube Friday night and i just said “meh”. it’s awesome what he’s done, but personally…it’s had no affect on me!

    hope you all are well ❤

  • 34. bean  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Just had to chime in on Phelps – yes, the other three guys on the medley relay were great, and the won as a team…just like the American men have *always* won that event. NO ONE has ever won as many Olympic races as Phelps, and the relay factors in to that – it just happens that Phelps’ accomplishment is more monumental than the relay win in general. And I’m pretty sure that just like the other Chicago Bulls who were thrilled to play with Michael Jordan, Peirsol, Hansen and Lezak were thrilled to swim with Phelps…put Ian Crocker in instead of Phelps, and there’s a great chance of them not winning gold.

    Sorry for the rant. I’m an ex-swimmer, ex-coach and both swimming and Olympics-obsessed. 🙂

    And I couldn’t agree more about how weird it is to talk so much about that volleyball player shaving his head. 🙂

  • 35. Chris  |  August 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I just had to add this. My daughter got a fish today and named it Michael Phelps. She calls it Phelps for short:)

  • 36. Jesse Hines  |  August 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I’m there with you–staying up way too late to watch the Olympics.

    It’s been worth it, though. While I’ve been cheering for my fellow Americans, this period in time has been great for taking me out of my American-centric perspective. There’s a world so much bigger and complex than just America. It’s great to be reminded of that.

    “I’m not that impressed with Michael Phelps.”

    What? Come on–8 gold medals in 8 tries–he deserves it. He’s what really drove NBC’s ratings upward, as I understand.

    But, I’ve also enjoyed women’s gymnastics, men’s beach volleyball, Dara Torres’ comeback, Usain Bolt…a lot of it. I love watching excellence combined with passion, even if the sport itself isn’t a favorite of mine.

    But, I’m glad the big stuff has mostly already been shown, because I too need to get more sleep.

    It’s been fun and tiring. But definitely worth it.

  • 37. Gina @ Chats with an old lady  |  August 18, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I just “stumbled upon” your blog…and your post on the olympics did crack me up…as it echoed all I have been thinking myself!!!

    God bless!!

  • 38. robyn  |  August 20, 2008 at 7:50 am

    i totally agree! especially on the whole announcers being idiots! they say the most asinine things!!



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