Gold Medal Olympic Watching in Early Retirement

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Before I early retired, I used to tell people that it is a great big interesting world and I am looking forward to soaking up a lot of it.  Since I am quite an Olympic fan boy, it has been great to be home during the day and watch the Olympic sports you don’t typically see in prime time.  Even though I was traveling a bit last week, I have probably seen more Olympic events this year than any Games I can remember since I was in college (LA 1984, Calgary & Seoul 1988).

For the Opening Ceremonies, my parents came over and we fired up the big screen and broke in the bar we finally finished in our lower level. We watched the Olympic opening night with a Brazilian-infused paella and cheese rolls. 

Starting the next day, I started on my goal of watching one unique sport for each of the days of the Rio 2016 games.  I enjoy the popular (swimming, gymnastics, and track events that are constantly on prime time, but I wanted to get close to the amazing variety of sports that makes up the Olympics.

Here’s what I have seen so far …

  • Table Tennis (Men’s Singles) – Chinese player, Ma Long, won the Gold Medal
  • Field Hockey (Women’s) – Team USA defeated highly ranked ARG in opening round
  • Fencing (Men’s Foil) – American Alexander Massialas earned Silver
  • Tennis (Women’s Doubles) – Russians took gold; Hingis returns to Olympics
  • Badminton (Men’s Singles) – Vietnamese player beats player from Denmark
  • Springboard Diving (Women’s 3m) – Chinese divers dominate with Gold & Silver
  • Beach Volleyball (Women’s) – Walsh Jennings & Ross beat Italy in Round of 16
  • Golf (Men’s) – Justin Rose wins the gold in the first Olympic golf event in 104 years
  • Cycling (Women’s Sprint) – Indoor qualifying heats on the Olympic velodrome

The coverage of the Games is just incredible this year.  We have Comcast / Xfinity and they feature 3-4 channels of coverage during weekdays with a wide variety of events.  If that’s not enough, they even have streaming channels (that you access just like a regular TV channel where you can watch the MOST obscure broadcasts – Greco-Roman wrestling, the swimming training room, and badminton warm-up sessions.  There is so much to watch that you can just sit down whenever you want and check out some great Olympic action.

One thing is for sure, I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the more obscure sports that you don’t typically see outside of the Olympics every four years.  While I have also seen lots of Michael Phelps, Katie Ladecky, and Simone Biles over the last week, but their accomplishments are no more interesting than the Olympians you see on daytime TV.  At the same time, it is fun to learn about the unique scoring, rules, gear, and athletes in the lesser-followed sports.

Image Credit: @NigerianNewsDesk via Twitter

14 thoughts on “Gold Medal Olympic Watching in Early Retirement

  1. It’s very cool of you to throw some support behind the obscure sports. I do feel a bit sad for those athletes, they work just as hard as the popular ones. It’s curious how one sport becomes more popular than another.

    I’m actually surprised at how much of the Olympics we’ve managed to watch, mostly popping it on in the background, I might even miss it a little when it’s over – we don’t have any of the pay TV options that are showing the Olympics but we do have one free-to-air channel which shows highlights and the popular sports, unfortunately we won’t be watching any obscure ones (haven’t seen table tennis aired at all so far, or surprisingly tennis).


    Liked by 1 person

    1. We pay WAY too much for the cable TV & streaming options we have (~$200/month), but this is one time I’m not complaining about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. NBC really does spoon feed you what they consider the best stuff in prime time. So great to surf over to the other channels and catch some of the other events. Archery, fencing, weight lifting, all great events. Kayaking is interesting to watch too. So many great athletes. Enjoy the rest of the games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw kayaking 4 years ago, but haven’t caught it yet this year. It’s amazing how many events there are in the summer games – I love watching the variety!


  3. Finding myself last Saturday with the kids riveted by archery and the men’s final of USA vs South Korea. They could not take their eyes of it. Neither could I.

    The Olympics. When great sport happens and the world wakes up to the magic of sport beyond football, soccer, baseball and golf. If it was more frequent than every four years, we would get bored with it. Actually, I doubt that last statement.


  4. I’m a big Olympic fan as well and wish I could watch more of the coverage. I believe the wrestling starts later this week which I’m looking forward to. It never gets much coverage but I’m a wrestling fan and have enjoyed watching many of our athletes throughout their college careers. Should be fun, go USA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never watched much wrestling. I saw a little of Greco-Roman online over the weekend, but will have to give it a look-see this week.


    1. I don’t know a lot about equestrian. I had Dressage on last week, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I remember that the Steeplechase is very exciting, so I am watching for that.


  5. I’m slightly disappointed that Ping-Pong isn’t as popular as other sports. It’s a fantastic sport that requires a lot of dexterity and skill but alas, complexity or difficulty in a sport isn’t what gets popular but one that has been around for centuries and has been marketed very well.

    Rooting for the unique sports instead of mainstream ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree – it is interesting how some sports are so much more popular in some countries than others!


    1. Olympics have been great! Watched horse jumping this morning. I’m really going to miss it when it ends this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

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