Are all Olympic medals created equal?

ALL Olympians are considered ‘athletes.’ And they ALL get the same medal.

But how can a gold medal in Gymnastics be compared  to a gold medal in Fencing? Or Badminton?

Gymnasts twist and flip their way up and down a mat, across a 4” bar. They swing about on two thin bars high in the air. And toss their bodies up over a vault horse. They train longer than most adults work at their jobs. They give up their childhood, teenage years, family life, etc.

How can that be the same as chasing a plastic birdie about on a lawn, or court?

And can somebody please explain to why itty bitty Speedo bathing suits are the ‘uniform’ for men’s water polo? Is it so the ‘athletes’ are more streamlined moving through the water? Those men have ‘butt’ cleavage.

In the 10 minutes I watched, (that was about all I could take…) I learned that there is a Power Play in water polo. Which had me wondering what makes up a foul? Holding somebody’s ankle under the water perhaps? Like when we played water polo in middle school gym class…

Sand Volleyball.

The kids and I watched, but we didn’t enjoy watching the men play. Not at all.

Me: I don’t LIKE the men’s sand volleyball.

Son (From his Man Chair with Footstool): Can’t stand it.

Me: Not sure why. I really like watching women’s sand volleyball.

Son: The girls play harder.

Daughter: Yeah they do! They go all out diving for the ball. Then hopping back up for the kill.

Son: The women go after everything. Not the men. They think they can’t get it, just kind of watch it drop. Like they’re thinking…. “Let’s just try for the next one.”

Me: I think you guys are right…

And yes, I’m going there. Swimming.

I understand that 20+ medals are A LOT of medals. And I have nothing against swimming. But there are so many MORE events than any other sport. How can we compare swimmers who can do (what seems like) 15 events in the Olympics with a basketball team that can go for 1 medal?

If we let the gymnasts do tumble across the floor forwards. Then backwards. A ‘short’ floor routine—say two tumbling passes. Then a long floor routine.

Or take basketball. They could play 2 on 2, have 3 point contests, slam dunk contests.

There are ways to amp up the opportunities to medal in other sports. To add more ‘events’ and more opportunities to medal. So that more ‘athletes’ could be ‘most decorated.’

Swimmers get to swim backstroke for two laps, then four laps and who knows how many other categories. I lost count of all the times the swimmers hopped into the pool to swim the SAME 4 strokes 27 different ways; freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly. And that isn’t counting the relays…

The Triathlon…

Just the thought of it is exhausting. Takes the body to its limits of strength, endurance and mental/emotional toughness.

Does Shooting take the same amount of preparation? What toll does ’target practice’ take on the body? Training time per day?

Can Table Tennis really be compared to Tennis? Most people can manage to play ping pong—maybe not to that level, but ping pong must be learnable. Tennis is much more difficult. Neither compares to gymnastics, though.

I can’t help but wonder what the NEXT Olympic sport might be?

My vote:

Hide n’ Seek. Or Red Rover. Golf?

Ideas, anyone???

Darling Daughters A.M. Bicycle Acrobatics

This week, Team USA’s Fab Five won a gold medal in gymnastics. If bicycle acrobatics was an Olympic sport, Darling Daughter may have had a gold medal, too.

At 7:30 am, Daughter was en Route to her summer babysitting job. She traveled by bike. Had to be there by 8 a.m.

The ride? About 8 miles…

Cars whizzed by, as she peddled up a small hill and approached a major intersection. (Route 20 and Center Rd, for readers who live in my city)

Daughter hugged the side of the road, bike tires bumped between grass and curb…she wobbled along. Tried to save it. Then finally curbed it.

Daughter (in her head): Oh sh#t…I’m going down.

She flipped off the bike, but miraculously landed on her feet at the foot of the hill, helmet askew.

Luckily Darling Daughter inherited my catlike reflexes and instinctively dove for the grass. Executed a graceful tuck and roll that somehow ended up part somersault, dive roll and front flip.

Thanks to the helmet which absorbed any impact, her head was fine as it skimmed the grass. Blood streamed down the front of her leg from scrapes on her knee.

The bike? A little banged up.

She called me to pick her up. Except I don’t have a car right now.

So Aunt Kate (Who IS here now AND living in a city nearby…) rushed over. Picked me up. And we hustled across town to peel Darling Daughter off the concrete. I handed Daughter band aids and Neosporin. We tossed the bike in the car and left the scene.

Darling Daughter was super happy it was the first week of high school football practice. Meaning high school boys from every end of our small town either watched daughter ‘fly through the air with the greatest of ease’ or saw her perched on the side of the road waiting to be rescued.

They couldn’t miss her. She wore a neon yellow shirt so that cars would SEE her. And not HIT her.

NOT so that the town could witness her humiliation.

I never told Daughter to wear the bike helmet. But she knows where I stand on helmets. And she has seen me wear it.

On Bikes and Bike Helmets …

I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE; I WANT TO RIDE MY BIKE…

Ever heard that song by Queen? It’s my cell phone ringtone.

I’m trying to embrace the bike since there are days it is my only transportation. Until I get a car. And I hope (and plan) to have a car soon.

And I’m pro bike helmet. Firmly.

Because the brain isn’t like an arm or leg. Doesn’t always heal when it gets banged up. Statistically, kids usually don’t get hurt riding bikes. Adults do.

I’ve seen the effects of traumatic brain injury, and it doesn’t make sense to take the chance. Which is why I bought the helmet soon after I bought the road bikes this spring.

And the day I bought it…

Just for fun, I strapped it on and sat down in the dining room when I saw Daughter headed for our front door. She glanced my way as she entered the house.

Daughter: What’s with the helmet?

Me: It’s for when I ride the bike.

Daughter: Oh…

Me: Know why? Because…I LOVE YOU.

Daughter shot me the ‘duh?’ look…

Me:  If anybody can crash the bike, it’s me. Things tend to happen to me. And I don’t want you and Son stuck caring for a mother in a permanent vegetative state if I wreck the bike and bang my head.

And though I was sitting in my dining room, wearing a helmet—I was actually quite serious.

And so Daughter flounced back out the front door, headed to a bonfire with friends. But she relayed the story when she got there.

Daughter: So I went home to change clothes….and my mom was wearing a helmet.

Daughter’s Boyfriend: That’s fitting.

Quite a few adults expressed surprise that I wear the helmet…

Chapman: You got a helmet?!? I’ll just pretend I don’t know you.

Me:  Fine with me. I’m still wearing it.

Though with my luck, I’ll fall off the dam# bike—and twist my knee, or some other stupid thing.

I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE; I WANT TO RIDE IT WHERE I LIKE.

Maybe my ringtone STRETCHES the truth.

Back to Darling Daughters gold medal performance…

I almost dropped my cell phone when Daughter told me where to pick her up. Because I nearly wrecked the bike in the same spot LAST month. I swerved to avoid a metal pole. Missed it by an inch, managed to stay off the pavement…AND on my feet. Thank you catlike reflexes!!

What can I say? Like mother, like daughter?

Even down to putting on the helmet.

Smart girl. And from what I hear, she’s quite the acrobat…