Aug 202008

The Olympics are the only thing I can watch for hours on end besides Star Trek. There are 28 sports, subdivided into approximately 300 events. It’s a three-week festival of the greatest athletes on Earth engaging in (what should be) friendly competition. However, a few things have marred this Olympics for me.

  1. The NBC coverage has been abysmal. There are 28 sports. Yet it seems like all I see is swimming, gymnastics, track & field, volleyball, and the occasional diving event or basketball game. Of course, to be broadcast at all, the event must have an American with a chance of making it to the finals. Where are the world champion fencing, or field hockey, or soccer, or judo, or handball, or sailing, or table tennis, or trampoline, or any of the cycling events?
  2. The live commentators talk about non-American athletes like soulless automata whose only goal is to stop the glorious and pure American athletes from grabbing their obviously deserved golds. Don’t get me wrong. I’m cheering for the US, but like many, I watch the Olympics to witness the best in the world in action, whether or not that be an American. More than a few are very annoyed.
  3. Yes, the Chinese gymnasts are under 16.
  4. Watching any of the good videos online at requires Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 as well as verification of cable or satellite subscription. Of course, you can just pretend to have a cable subscription, but using Silverlight instead of Flash was a poor decision, motivated by business deals rather than technology and usability. It might earn Microsoft yet another large anti-trust violation, but of course, not before it weasels its way around Flash and displaces it.
  5. The IOC apparently doesn’t like it when people watch the Olympics. They have sent numerous takedown notices to blogs, YouTube, torrent sites, and other media hubs that have been hosting Olympic content. It will be a sad day when the IOC begins to stand for censorship.

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