Friday Question of the Day – Will You Watch the Olympics? What’s Your Favorite Event?

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

With the Rio Olympics kicking off, I’m just curious how many folks plan on watching. For those that will, what are you most looking forward to? I remember watching Michael Phelps swimming for a gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he was going for the record 8 golds and it was absolutely electric. It was at the Argonaut and the whole place went nuts when he won. Ever since then I’ve loved watching most swimming events. But truth be told if Netflix releases a new season of Broadchurch, I’d probably watch that instead…


88 Comment

  • Yes, since my wife is Canadian it’s going to be a fun little rivalry! I’m most excited for the USWNT. I’ll probably watch swimming too.

  • I’ll be watching plenty of Olympic coverage, but none of the prime time NBC show. I prefer to watch events when they happen with as few “human interest” stories around them as possible.
    I’m most excited for the women’s soccer, but of the events we rarely see outside Olympics I’m excited for archery, handball, judo, and wrestling.

    • I will watch anything and everything, as much as I can get away with. Qualifying water polo match between Bulgaria and Ecuador? I’m there. Handball match between Estonia and China? Sign me up. Preliminary rounds of archery at 2 am? Yup. And anything involving the US (or, as I permit myself to refer to us for these 2 weeks only, ‘Merica! Eff yeah!), especially the USWNT, Simone Biles, and Katie Ledecky. I wallow in American exceptionalism during the Olympics, and I make no apologies for it.

  • No. Nationalism makes me uncomfortable.

    • Counterpoint: USA! USA! USA!

    • Wow – you sound like the conservative comic strip caricature of a quivering liberal. One day I hope to be uncomfortable enough with my country that watching international competition will fill me with dread.

      • Hopefully the OP is German or British.
        #lessonslearned

        • Full on American mutt. Grandparents with accents and parents that could never fully shake various old world ethnicities. I see ethnic nationalism as a problem to be overcome. Sports might be better than war, but it doesn’t help the world overcome the underlying issue.
          .
          Also, as a sports fan, pro teams are far superior at selecting skilled athletes. I have no clue why anyone would watch hockey, soccer or basketball in the olympics, when many of the competitors are unfit for the pro game.

          • justinbc

            “when many of the competitors are unfit for the pro game”
            …in America’s professional league. The rest of the world doesn’t have that luxury, and many people enjoy seeing the underdog have his moment in the sun.

          • “I see ethnic nationalism as a problem to be overcome.”
            .
            OK, but how does that apply to rooting for the US?

  • I’ll watch some of the women’s gymnastics, that’s about it. a

  • Gymnastics, obvi. But I also love watching the less common sports that I would never otherwise see or even know existed.

  • I assume anyone winning gold is on steroids, so what’s the point?

  • Track and Field. Mostly Track. No gymnastics, and absolutely no Bob Costas.

  • It is the kind of thing I will put on in the background while doing chores or browsing the internet, but will not really make a point to watch any event/sport in particular. The only exception might be women’s soccer.

  • I’ll probably watch a little gymnastics, and for some reason I am mesmerized by the swimming.

  • justinbc

    I won’t actively devote time to it, but if I happen to be sitting at home doing chores or something online I’ll probably turn it on. Cleaned out my DVR recently so there’s nothing really good in the queue.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Not really. Maybe a little track and some of the water sports, but I couldn’t give a damn about soccer. The winter olympics are far superior, in my opinion.

  • I am looking forward to track (esp the marathon and cross country), swimming, triathlon, USWNT, and women’s gymnastics. I could be a LITTLE excited! Go Katie Ledecky!!

  • I’m so proud of the US Womens Soccer team and how much popularity they have gained within these last years. They worked really hard to now have a dedicated fanbase after being ignored and extremely underpaid for years. They are true heroes, superstars, role models, and I can’t wait to see them try and achieve world history by getting a consecutive gold medal.
    .
    Please support the us womens soccer team and watch some of these great events. Our hometown hero (and Washington DC Spirit defender) Ali Krieger, from Dumfries VA will be competing as one of the top athletes.

    • Lifelong soccer player and fan here (we even season tickets to the first iteration of womens professional soccer-WUSA i think it was called.) BUT I’ve been very turned off by this US team, in terms of “role models.” I know its slightly irrational, but I can’t get out of my head what a bad role model Hope Solo is, and how terribly US Soccer has handled her transgressions. She (and Abby) have/had a drinking problem, Hope’s hubby drunk drove the US Soccer team van, all the domestic violence stuff. It just turns me off. Perhaps Jill/US Soccer are doing things behind the scenes, but I’ve seen zero contrition from from Hope, publicly, and she is souring my enjoyment of watching the USWNT.

      • I can understand being turned off by Solo (although my daughter is an aspiring goalie and is too young to know about Solo’s issues, so that’s interesting terrain to navigate). But what about the rest of the team turns you off? I’d think you could find ample role models among the rest of the women.

        • skj84

          If we can continuously turn a blind eye to the transgressions done by male athletes in pretty much every major sport, we can let the one bad apple in women’s soccer bunch go? Hope Solo is an asshole, there is no doubt about it. But it doesn’t seem fair to put the rest of team on blast for her bad behavior.

          • justinbc

            Unless you know the poster it’s unfair to say that she turns a blind eye to male athletes. She’s talking about her personal perspective, not the world in general. Ultimately it’s up to her to use that example of what not to be (if that’s what she truly believes), but giving one person a pass just because we give other people a pass is no way to legislate (anything).

      • I respectfully disagree. US Soccer players are athletes striving for the best in athletic competition. Is it great that they are role models? Sure. Is that their job? No. I feel like there is a cutesy component to the Women’s soccer story that I don’t see replayed in other sports. It’s always a photo of a young girl with a flag and a lot of soft and fuzzy personality stuff. I wish we could focus a little more on the game and not the human interest aspect. Hope Solo is probably not a great person (or more likely a person with some problems) and I won’t defend her but these are athletes paid to be the best in their sport not role models. And I say this as a huge USWNT fan, lifelong soccer player and fan too.

      • +1000 agreed with what “dcd” just said. Hope Solo is and has been for some time now a controversial player, on and off the field… which should not overshadow the many other women on the team who have done amazing things (not saying Solo hasn’t done amazing things). Dunn, Krieger, Lloyd, Harris, Alex Morgan… have all done amazing things for the sport both on and off the field (particularly both Dunn and Krieger have been VERY involved in the DC community especially with nonprofits around the area.
        .
        I wouldn’t let the negative attention of one or two players impact the entire rest of the team..

      • The only appropriate response to this drivel: MYOB
        I’m not sure why the rest of the team should be castigated because of the poor actions of one teammate, who, BTW, came from an extremely rough background. Let these ladies make mistakes, just like professional male athletes have done, since…oh….forever. USWNT is bad ass and it’s exciting to see a new generation take the reins.

      • Why should women be held to higher social standards than men? The outcry against professional male athletes who do all that and much, much worse is muted at best.
        Let the women play their sport; admire their athleticism. But don’t start your role model campaign with them. They have enough expectation heaped upon them. It’s like in A League of Their Own, when the women’s teams were expected to play exciting baseball AND wear short skirts and be good cooks and mothers. That was the 1940s. Evolve.

        • Respectfully disagree with both “wdc” and “Colhi”.. when you live in a world where WOMEN are constantly told they aren’t good enough, or they need to be a certain way, or they can’t do certain professions that men can… yes it is very important that these girls are now actually connecting with many of these players as role models. They are athletes, but for FEMALES in particular, they are also role models. They are interacting with fans at events, showing up at schools, doing events… it’s needed in a society where girls need to feel empowered, especially with the amazing athletes that the USWNT are.

          • Girls need to be empowered by understanding there are double standards and they need to fall in line with those standards? I disagree. Girls and women should learn that when they are great at their skill, craft, sport or job, that it has value and they should be applauded for that. They should not learn that they will be judged and dismissed by 1 mistake or how they look or any off the field stuff. We can agree to disagree but the empowerment (for me at least) is seeing the world cheer for athletes with great skill in soccer regardless of their gender.

          • “when you live in a world where WOMEN are constantly told they aren’t good enough” you need to require more of them, even/especially of the top performers. Being the best soccer goalie in the world isn’t good enough. You have to be pretty, too, and an eyebrow-raising personal life will not be tolerated.
            Suuuuuper.

        • justinbc

          Muted at best? Maybe 10-15-50 years ago. A lot has changed with the pervasiveness of social media and internet mobs to hold (many) owners accountable / responsible for the players on their teams. Just look what happened to the kid in the NFL draft this year who had photos posted of him smoking, that caused dozens of teams to pass on him and ultimately double digit millions of dollars. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, etc all suspended games for domestic issues. Lance Armstrong is a laughing stock in the annals of American sports. Sure there are random nobodies who likely go under the radar, but to say that big names (like Solo’s equivalent, or bigger) aren’t held to a high standard is to not be aware what’s actually happening in sports.

          • The fact that is still happens as often as it does is proof that no one cares all that much. If it mattered, pro athletes would be much better behaved. But they know that they can get away with all but the most egregious criminal behavior, take their slap on the wrist (suspensions), and get right back out there. And be greeted with raucous applause when they do.

          • justinbc

            Some athletes get greeted with applause, some get greeted with a chorus of boos, some never make it back into the league because they’re viewed as character failures. Painting with such a broad brush doesn’t help to make the point that male athletes don’t face consequences, they absolutely do. Look at the cover story on Slate today about Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time. Also, to say that it happens so often, do you have some sort of statistical measurement between misdemeanor crimes committed by athletes compared to the general populace? Because otherwise it’s not really “proof” of anything.

    • Ashy Oldlady

      I will be watching all of their games in Dupont Circle.

  • skj84

    Huge fan of the Olympics here! My family attended the ’96 games in Atlanta, it’s my goal to attend another. I’m missing the Opening Ceremonies today which is a total bummer. This is the first Olympics since I got ride of cable, not sure what my alternatives are? Favorite events are anything in the Track and Field catagory, gymnastics, and basketball.

    • skj84

      Forgot to add swimming! Also love watching the Olympics in a group setting. One of my favorite memories is watching the men’s swim team in the 2008 Olympics on the dorm TV during a summer festival I worked on. Hopefully there are some watch parties in the area.

    • Also huge fan. Competed in the ’96 Olympic trials in track and field. Will be watching as much running as I can and power lifting for some odd reason. I have always liked that.

      • What event? I guess it was disappointing not to go, but just competing must have been pretty cool.

    • justinbc

      I think you can watch online?

      • skj84

        Yes and No. To watch on NBC’s website it appears you need to have an account with your cable provider to log in and watch. Of course I could just ask a family member who has cable if I could use their info.

        • I think you can also get access if you get a one-month subscription to playstation vue, which has a roku app–then use those credentials on the NBC site.

          • Ashy Oldlady

            Or Sling TV. They have a package that includes all the NBC-owned channels that carry the games.

          • Yes, but if you also want access to the content on NBC’s online olympics page (rather than just what is played on the network/cable channels), vue log-on credentials also get you access to that, while sling doesn’t. FWIW, sling has been buggy for us in the past as well, though perhaps that’s no longer an issue.

          • Ashy Oldlady

            Good point. I wasn’t aware that a Sling TV sub didn’t grant you access to NBC Sports login credentials.

  • mens 4×100 freestyle relay

  • I love everything about the Olympics! Bob Costas, the human interest stories, the ceremonies, the drama the medal counts. I really like swimming, track & field, gymnastics, and diving.

  • I love the track. I WANT THAT DONUT! Where can I find that DONUT?!

    • Astro Doughnuts near Metro Center!
      They have an amazing Pokemon power ball donut

      • Sadly, they also have a bit of a rodent problem. I’ve seen what was either a large mouse or a small rat on a couple of occasions there. Which is a shame since I loved their creme brûlée donuts…but not with rat feces.

        • Welcome to downtown DC? Pretty much every place down there has mice at some point. Same in NYC, SF, or any other downtown area with lots of underground infrastructure.
          Counterpoint: I’ve been to Astro 7 or 8 times and never seen a rodent. See, now it’s all even.

  • I’m much more of a winter olympics fan, but I’ll still watch.

  • Yes, I’ll follow soccer, swimming, track and field. But I feel increasingly uneasy with the Olympics and its waste—over-investment in needless venues, doping, and, worst of all, those human interest stories on NBC.

  • I always get sucked in more than I intend to. What other event unites so many people around the world?

  • I’m excited to watch–women’s soccer, swimming (swam through high school and Katie Ledecky is AMAZING!), diving (I was a diver in high school), rugby (played rugby in college–yes, my sports history is eclectic), synchronized swimming (my wife was a synchro swimmer through college), women’s beach volleyball…and I’m sure a few others. Should be fun 🙂

  • I plan on watching Mens Basketball. Track and Field, Boxing and Gymnastics when possible and while doing chores around the house

    • dcgator

      I forget about men’s bball because they’re finally dominating like they should. But, yeah, I could definitely stand to watch what is basically a one-sided All-Star game here and there during the Olympics.

  • +1 on the no human interest stories

    Getting to be an Olympian is not easy, I get it. However, I do not want to watch a 30min mini-documentary on how an American had to leave their family behind in flyover country in the middle of a tragedy to train at the US Olympic center, etc., etc. Only to show him/her compete in an even for 2 minutes

    They should use that time to show China battle Korea in ping pong or Iran go against Russia in wrestling.

    I know we are in US, but does it have to be all about us?

    • skj84

      I have a major aversion to human interest stories, no matter what the context. I want to know if you can compete. I feel like most of the time they are used to cover up mediocracy. (exception Misty Copeland. Because she is magic).

    • +1 More high-level competition, less personal BS

  • Rowing, of course. I kind of enjoy the random stuff the TV throws at you. Dislike sports where the Olympics are irrelevant. There’s no reason to watch Olympic tennis, gold, soccer etc.

  • Still waiting for Ultimate to be an Olympic sport. Can’t wait to see the U.S. field a team of bros from rural Northeastern liberal arts colleges, wearing tie-dyed red, white, and blue jerseys.

  • Rowing! Mens and Womens! Hope they don’t die of dysentery!

  • Super excited about Apolo Ohno!

  • I’m most excited for the equestrian sports – such a cool venue, lots of positive stories, incredible athletes, and the only olympic sport where men and women compete as equals!
    I’m also psyched for track and field, Women’s soccer, and swimming. I’d love one day to compete in the pentathlon so I’ll hope to catch some of that too!

  • Nope. Russia will win, it seems they are allowed to take performance enhancing drugs w/o any consequences.

  • I Dont Get It

    I’m not very excited about it, yet. I think the 24 X 7 negativity I hear on cable “news”* is getting to my naturally, sunny personality so maybe I need a heavy dose of rah-rah Olympics.
    *Or I could change the channel!

  • Women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer, and maybe some trampolining, rhythmic gymnastics, or synchronized swimming/diving. All super cool.

  • Ladies gymnastics is my favorite summer Olympic event. I’m amazed at how strong and bendy the gymnasts are. I’ll watch Mens swimming too. I don’t think Michael Phleps can sustain his Gold Medal streak but I’ll be rooting for him nonetheless.

  • The Summer Olympics are hands down my favorite! Will definitely be watching swimming and probably women’s gymnastics too.

  • I’m team Men’s Diving all the way. I don’t really root for a team, I just look at the beautiful close-to-naked bodies twisting around in the air.

  • DC CapHill

    Nearly 90 comments, and not ONE relating to what an unmitigated disaster this Rio Olympics in particular, or the modern Olympics in general, have become. 51% over budget, ~4,500 homes displaced due to construction, because hey, if the Olympics are about one thing, it’s not giving a damn about poor people, amirite? Zika is rampant, the Police can’t pay their officers, there is a shortage of them already and they are being killed at an alarming rate meaning they can’t protect anyone, and also don’t care to for little to no pay. The IOC is second-to-none when it comes to corruption, Brazil is in Political turmoil, bankrupt, and got an additional how much money to clean up their water supply and it all got stolen and none of the water got cleaned? The list is long and less than distinguished, when it comes to failures.

    I for one, refuse to watch one millisecond of this ‘traveshamockery’ and I’ll actively encourage anyone that doesn’t want to “think” about the bigger picture while “zoning out” to the Olympics to take a second to understand the depth and breadth of what the Olympics are impacting halfway around the World, for generations to come. They already have NO MONEY. How are they going to pay for the estimated $?bn debt they are going to accumulate once this is all said and done?

    When Brazil falls apart completely, whose doorstep do you think they show up on, with their hand out?

    “USA! USA! USA!”

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