Friday, August 3, 2012

Teen Trend: Olympic Obsession?

Warning:  Post in which Alison dates herself. Seriously.
You see, when I was a teenager (oh, no…cue stone age tale) there was this three week span, summer of 84, when my eyes glued to this

 yes, I seriously think this was MY television

Mostly my eyes refused to close when these guys graced the screen


Or this crew

  
Yes—the 1984 Olympics. I watched A LOT of gymnastics. In fact, I don’t remember much outside the gymnastics.  I do remember spending a lot of time on my couch. And that McDonalds started the If they win, You win game that apparently was this big marketing booboo (I think 83 USA gold medals had something to do with that). I remember changing my life’s ambition from marrying Harrison Ford to marrying Mitch Gaylord. And that his pin-ups wallpapered my bedroom. And that I followed his acting career almost as closely as C Thomas Howell’s.
Okay so I was a little obsessed with one particularly hot gymnast, but I do remember the hype. I do remember Mary Lou Retton and countless other young hopefuls who shocked the athletic world with a surprising number of wins. I think Michael Jordan was there. And there was this one sport that made me want to dance in the water instead of swim. And now they’ve added synchronized diving?!
But what I also know is that I was never really obsessive about it again. 1988 Olympics, my thoughts were on college. 1992—I was too concerned with finding a job. 1996—I should remember that one—we were in between hurricanes, and my husband actually watched some of it live. But, it’s not until this year—the year my house sprouted fifty shades of hormones—that we are suddenly glued to the wide-screen. I’ve watched more Olympics in the past week than I have in the past twenty five years. And I blame it on the thirteen year old. She “made us” stay up to watch the Opening Ceremonies. Usually the only event on constant play and replay is soccer, but man, we’ve been getting all zombie–eyed with the swimming, the gymnastics. The beach volleyball. Archery. Diving. ALL OF IT.
So, part of me really wondered if it’s a teen thing. Is there an obsession button ingrained that only rears its fandom head during adolescence? Or am I just trying to establish a teen trend that’s really a trend for like, the world? Regardless, I decided to ask some of our teens to share their thoughts on Olympics 2012.

Have you been watching the Olympics? Die-hard fan? How about your friends? Are they watching too?
EMILY C: Heck Yes I have been watching!! In fact... I am watching right now :) I have been watching like crazy, I even downloaded an app for my iPod so I could watch it when I am not at home :) Honestly, I am not sure if my friends are watching... the few that are in the city are... I think....
LISSA: I've been watching on and off because truthfully, I like the winter games better. I have some friends that watch while others couldn't care less. 
MADDIE: I've been watching off-and-on the past few days. Mostly only the swimming events.
ANA: I haven't really been keeping up with the Olympics. I've watched some events like swimming and gymnastics, but I'm not a sports fan and just can't get myself into the Olympic spirit
LEXIE: No, simply because I've been away at camp and haven't had the chance. Most of my friends have been watching them.
ERICA: I have been watching some - I mainly watch for the gymnastics. 
CHIHUAHUA ZERO: Except the opening ceremony, I haven't been watching the Olympics closely. Everything I receive second-hand from forum users and Tumblr, but I watched part of one of the swimming events while I was at a Japanese restaurant. The restaurant has a cook make our lunch right in front of us--with some cool knife and fire tricks. Just one of the little things that make life neat.
RANDI: I've been casually watching the Olympics. Definitely not 24/7 but when I can, and for certain events and such. The Opening Ceremonies were quite nice (who doesn't love a 100 foot tall Voldemort, The Queen, James Bond, and Mr. Bean all in one?)

 Favorite event?
EMILY C: Swimming. I have been a competitive swimmer for 13 years, so it is close to my heart, and I can't wait until the next summer Olympics, because I know a number of athletes that will probably be in the summer Olympics in 4 years, which will be awesome! (Agent A note: That IS awesome!)
MADDIE: Male 200-yard butterfly. Phelps usually destroys during that race, but he got second this year. Pretty bummed about that :)
LEXIE: Women's Gymnastics, because a) I think it's just exceptionally fun to watch, and b) I was a gymnast for 12 years, so I in particular have a fondness for it.
ERICA: Gymnastics - I just love the sport and think it's amazing! 
LISSA: I love watching water polo, volleyball and gymnastic events. I get really in to watching sports so I tend to freak out a bit.
RANDI: I really like fencing. If only for making Princess Bride jokes. But it's actually quite fascinating. Gymnastics are also fun.

Favorite athlete?
EMILY C: Brent Hayden. First off: Great swimmer (though a disappointing race today... :( ) Second: He is a swimmer: Third: He's Canadian (Woot!) Fourth: His bald head is totally cool :D
MADDIE: Definitely Phelps! We watch his races before our regional swim meets :D
RANDI: Um, I don't really pick favorite athletes. I will say, however, that I think it's pretty cool that the girl who trained Jennifer Lawrence for the Hunger Games is competing. (Agent A note: HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!?!)
LEXIE: Can I cheat and say the women's gymnastics alternate Ebie Price because she's my friend?  If not, probably Aly Raisman, because she's a great gymnast, an awesome person, AND she has Hava Nagillah for her floor music.

And did you see the opening ceremonies? Anyone else freak out when the 100-foot Voldemort entered the stadium? (Team Mary Poppins here)
EMILY C: Yes! I saw them! (Thought the torch was awesome) What did I think of Voldemort? I am pretty sure my exact words were "Adara! Adara! It's HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED!!!!! He didn't die! OH NO! We are DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMEEEEEDDDDD!!!!!" Oh, just to let you know Adara is my sister. And we are Harry Potter fanatics...
MADDIE: Haha, no I didn't, and now I'm kind of bummed that I missed it!!!
RANDI: As I mentioned before, that was AMAZING. The music was great too. I know I wasn' t the only one who caught the TARDIS sound during Bohemian Rhapsody!
ANA: I LOVED the opening ceremony! Personally, I was a little creeped out by the battle... and why was it so easy to defeat Voldemort? Some of my favorite segments were the fireworks (spectacular), Mr Bean (winning the race was just classic), and the metal rings that became the olympics rings.
CHIHUAHUA ZERO: I actually wrote a blog post on the opening ceremonies. The literary history portion of it was quite inspiring, along with the part showing the creator of the Internet. He could have patent it, after all. Also, I wasn't freaked out--because I already heard about it through Twitter.

Anything else on Olympics 2012?
EMILY C: There was that 16 year old Chinese girl, who won 1st in the 400 I.M. and did this freaking amazing swim, right? And now people are going "Oh. She has to be doped, because nobody could be that good." However, if that was a guy there wouldn't be an argument it seems. Or an American, because they are the ones making the big fuss. That is seriously just bugging me. It is ridiculous.

All in all: GO CANADA!
MADDIE: Phelps is definitely disappointing this year. Not the best way to end your carreer, Michael!!!
CHIHUAHUA ZERO: The Olympics is being harsh on copyright. Those darn Brits.
ANA: Michael Phelps! Grrr!!
RANDI: I enjoy watching them, but I am not in any way hardcore about it. Personally, I think they should have added Quidditch. How cool would that be?

Quidditch as an Olympic sport would be AWESOME.
So how about YOU? Are you an obsessive Olympic fan? Favorite event? Favorite athlete? And how about those opening ceremonies?

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