Written By: Coach
We all love watching the Olympics. And when I say "we" I mean the human race. Obviously Americans are really into the Olympics because we typically do pretty well overall in a variety of sports. We are also suckers for a heartwarming story like when Carrie Shrug clinched the gold medal for her team on a broken ankle. This year the big story other than the fact that China is hosting the games is...Michael Phelps. Michael, and I think we would not mind if I called him that, is being considered one of the best olympians of all time. It just so happens that Michael is an American but even still I am sure that he is THE headliner for just about any television network worldwide right? Another headline group that is getting a lot of press in the "Redeem Team" AKA the US basketball team who are heavily favored to win gold and put America back into the top spot of the sport we invented. Speaking of sports we invented, baseball usually does not actually get the attention that many Americans may want, probably because we have not figured out a way to load our teams chalk full of MLB All-Stars!
Well folks I really hope that all of you have enjoyed sitting down each evening with your family and friends and watching NBC broadcast previously recorded Olympic events. I hope that all of you have watched so much Michael Phelps that YOUR fingertips are pruny. I hope that all of you basketball fans such as myself have been able to watch every high flying slam dunk that Kobe and company have orchestrated. However, I would never wish on anyone the gold medal of sheer frustration that I wear due to the TV stations of the great country of Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei for you Olympic folk).
Let me explain. Apparently there are only a handful of sports that the Taiwanese truly care about and they are (in no particular order) women’s archery and weightlifting, badminton, baseball and of course ping pong. Now I am not claiming that those are the only sports that have aired here in Asia. We have seen our share of swimming meets, volleyball matches and handball games which actually is a fascinating sport. But we are well into the games and I feel like it is slipping me by. I feel like a kid that has to go to bed while his older brother gets to stay up with his friends and play video games. I am missing out and it is killing me. So the sports that most Americans love like gymnastics, track and field and yes the best sport in the world, basketball has gone totally unwatched by these competitive and patriotic eyes. Oh and Phelps? I have not had the pleasure of seeing any medals won or records broken. I know that eventually it will not matter to me at all and years down the road when people ask me to tell them about my experiences in Taiwan the Olympics will not even come up. However, I also will never be able to tell my grandkids what I was doing when Phelps won all of his gold medals. I will not be able to say that I saw the Redeem Team in action as they annihilated the competition. I could always guess, but the best I could come up with would be, “I think I was watching ping pong.”