John Vandelinder

Photo by John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder: Top-10 reasons to watch the Olympics


John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder's columns appear Tuesdays and Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail him at

— The Olympics kicked off yesterday in Beijing, signaling the start of the world's best athletes competing for their country's glory.

NBC is televising more than 2,200 hours of competition and another 3,000 hours on the Internet.

Here are 10 reasons why you should tune in and watch:

• 10. Swimmer Michael Phelps. It should be a spectacle in and of itself to see if Phelps can reach his outrageously difficult goal of getting eight gold medals. Eight gold medals are unlikely, but his performance could be record setting, and it should be fun to watch.

• 9. Mens soccer. International soccer seems to be the only version American sports fans are even slightly interested in, so this gives me hope that fans will tune in and watch.

• 8. It's the final year for softball and baseball in the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee is dropping these games, but keeping badminton, handball and shooting : guns. That's right, because the Olympic games are about peace between all nations. Makes a lot of sense. And this is the last time we can watch the U.S. try to beat Cuba on the diamond.

• 7. 100-meter dash. Nothing is more exciting than watching the men's race. Each year raises questions on whether the world record will be broken and which athlete was doped up during the meet.

• 6. Basketball. China is counting on Yao Ming, who has been injured, to drive the team to a surprise medal. Spain and Argentina look to continue to their recent strength in international competition. The U.S. is trying to bring back their previous dominance in the sport. The American's drought has gone on for far too long.

• 5. Hope Solo watch. As the starting goalie for the U.S. Women's soccer team, the last time she took part in an international competition - the 2007 Federation Internationale de Football Association World Cup - she was benched in favor of longtime U.S. keeper Brianna Scurry. Solo had been dominant in net for the U.S., having allowed just two goals in four games. The U.S. women lost, 4-0, with Scurry in net. It's time for Solo to prove her worth to the world.

• 4. New sports. To modernize the Games, the IOC will introduce two new sports to the Beijing Games: Bicycle motocross and the 10km marathon swim. BMX will offer two gold medals in individual men and women's competitions. Marathon swimming will offer two gold medals in individual men and women's competitions, as well.

• 3. Cheerleaders. Some 600 cheerleaders from all across the country will go all out to entertain spectators with Chinese folk dancing, acrobatics, drum shows, lion dancing and martial arts during time-outs. Cheerleaders - who will be present at the Games for the first time in history - were selected from national Olympic cheerleading competitions and local clubs.

Any time cheerleaders are present, the event is always more attractive to watch. Literally.

• 2. The undisputed most attractive female U.S. athlete: Lolo Jones. She's really hot. Millions of teenage boys will fall in love with Jones these Olympics. Only patriotism could top her on this list.

• 1. Watching the United States win the medal count. The world is tired of the red, white and blue destroying the competition every four years. Well, it doesn't matter. They could hold these games underwater, and our athletes would find a way to grow gills.

Now turn on the tube and watch some Olympics.


nikobesti 8 years, 7 months ago

Easy, bro. Don't bust a nut just thinking about Lolo. You must be single in Craig. Don't lick the TV, my man.


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