Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Fever

We've been watching the Olympics here in Singapore, and while our kids are having a hard time deciding who they should cheer for (China? USA? Singapore?) I am surprised at my resurgence of patriotism. This week I am a pure American, searching random events like steeple chase for my American to cheer on, screaming for the fantastic American swimmers, tears streaming down my face as I watch the American flag rise.

Homeschool has been bumped around a bit to make room for men's and women's gymnastics, and watching Michael Phelps rack up the golds. I've been worn a bit thin by all the questions the kids have - it's hard to explain the scoring system of Olympic gymnastics to six and eight year olds. Or the rules of soccer (football to the rest of the world). Or why I'm crying because a 16 year old just got a medal. Especially while I'm trying not to miss what's happening. But it's fun to see them discover sports they've never seen before, and be inspired by these athletes. Megan keeps setting up our furniture to mimic gymnastic apparatus. Ethan's made up a sport using a tennis ball in a sock, tied to a string, being thrown against a tall thin box. Not sure if he has a name for it, but it's him versus the box and he keeps winning. Big surprise.

I miss the American commentators, because they tend to give more interesting background on the athletes, and are more informative about the sports. But here we get to enjoy British commentary and I have to say that the gymnastics commentators are particularly fun. They rarely say anything negative like, "Oooh, that's going to cost him!" Instead they say things like, "Bit of a wobble there, but that just shows his great strength to hold on!" while the reality is the guy almost fell off the apparatus. You just enjoy the routines for what they are though when they end with someone saying, "Well done young man! Good show!"

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