I have said it over and over again, I think the Summer Olympics are far superior to the Winter Olympics. At the base of this opinion is just that the games in the Summer Olympics are much more relevant to the entire globe. With that said and with the opening ceremony occurring this Friday, I thought I would share the events I look forward to watching the most at the Summer Olympics. So, without further adieu, here is my countdown of the top five sports I thoroughly enjoy when it comes to the summer games.
5. Basketball – I know basketball is perhaps a little bit regionalized but it makes my list mostly for nostalgia. I was mesmerized in 1996 (first time I ever remember watching the Olympics) by the United States men’s basketball team destroying the competition. To see all the superstars from the NBA come together for a common goal stuck with me. With Coach K once again leading the team this year, I get excited at watching America’s athletes transform their NBA game to the international level. I will be watching.
4. Swimming/Diving – Sorry to lump two different sports together but this list is too short. I don’t get as excited about swimming as some do, but it is still a Summer Olympics hallmark sport and I love the photo finishes. Also, with the technology available these days, the actual broadcast/coverage of the races is superb. Diving is great because it makes me nervous and it makes me hold my breath. Not to mention what they do in the air before making a perfect splash is incredibly cool.
3. Beach Volleyball – To me, beach volleyball is plain fun. It screams summer. The rules are simple, the chemistry between teammates is top notch, and high level athleticism is on display at all times. I also enjoy admiring the physiques of the participants. This isn’t in some sick way either. Beach volleyball participants, both women and men, are a crazy type of fit. My full respect goes out to them all.
2. Weightlifting – In terms of the goal, weightlifting is an easily defined sport. But everything that goes into catapulting a bar that is five times your weight over your head is not. Rather, it is a science. I am intrigued at watching the athletes go through their whole routine. Watching them get in the zone, approach the platform, brace themselves, practice perfect technique, and then execute the lift is quite the sight. You can feel the tension the whole way through and then you can also feel the unrivaled accomplishment as the athlete drops the bar after a successful attempt. So much power, yet so much discipline. I love watching weightlifting.
1. Track and Field – The easiest part of making this list was designating my #1 favorite event to watch. By far, I enjoy watching track and field the most. In my thought process, track and field is synonymous with the Olympics. When you shut your eyes and think of the summer games, a vision of people running, jumping, and throwing should appear. But my joy of watching track and field at the Olympics goes beyond just symbolism. The competitors you see compete in track and field this month are the best athletes in Rio. How can you not like watching people perform a full out sprint for 800 meters? Or use a pole to fly over a bar 19 feet in the air? Or hurl a ball of metal 75 feet? Or glide through the air covering ten yard sticks?
With track and field, I just find it the epitome of athletic competition. The title of “World’s Greatest Athlete” that is bestowed on the decathlon winner is the most accurate description in sports. When the lights go on in the stadium at Rio and the track and field events start that is when the 2016 Summer Olympics truly begin.
Can you tell I am excited for Friday to get here? We only have the opportunity to enjoy this once every four years so start preparing yourself. What events can’t you miss? Don’t Blink.