[Business Day One] Olympic Dashboard

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I’m still in an Olympics state of mind, so I’m going to spill some info on you in the most efficient way I know of: conversation-inspiring bullet points! Here we go!

-I have had a sinking suspicion for the past week that many Olympic commentators were secretly wishing that Michael Phelps would fail to pick up eight gold medals. Why? Because it’d make a better story. Pundits would be able to dissect possible reasons why for months to come. Every news agency would be clamoring for that first “what was it like to come up short” interview. Sports shows feed on this kind of thing; human tragedy is much more compelling of a story than human triumph. Maybe that’s why they heap on the pressure – it’s as if the media was trying to do its part to manufacture a story of heartbreak and sadness.

-I check the Medals Tracker once a day. Currently, the US leads in medals but China leads in overall golds. I spent most of my morning commute trying to figure out what exactly that represents, but nothing convincing materialized. I guess I should just start chanting “USA!”

-The Men’s Basketball team nearly doubled up Germany a few hours ago. I’ve often heard that the secret to basketball success is to peak at the right time. I’d say hanging 106 on a team with NBA players on it counts. The big different, best I can tell, between this year’s team and the previous manifestations is defensive tenacity. I’m seeing our smalls diving into passing lanes and doing their darndest to pull down rebounds. I never got that sense in years past. They’re playing with pride. That makes them an easy team to root for, even with Kobe Bryant on it.

-My favorite player on the soon-to-be-gold-medal Women’s Softball team is Crystl Bustos. She’s like Babe Ruth, in terms of separation between her and the rest of existence in terms of homerun power. If you have an opportunity to watch a women’s game, pay attention when she’s at bat. Like Ruth, when she steps into the box, the expectation is homerun.

-Chicago is in the running for the 2016 games. I hope that it comes here, just so that I’ll be able to watch things at a reasonable hour.

-So far, these are the controversies that I’ve counted in this year’s games: Lip synching girl during opening ceremony, computer generated fireworks during opening ceremony, a murder, underage Chinese gymnasts, pollution, Tibet protests, media censorship, mass displacement, and the paying of fans to fill seats. All things considered, not too bad for a gruesomely oppressive government.