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.
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