I guess it’s time for an Olympics-themed post. I do enjoy the Olympics, I used to follow along with the sports and athletes’ careers across multiple Olympic years. One thing I dislike is NBC’s insistence of tape-delaying events for prime time. One notable example was Michael Phelps’ last race, where he won his eighth gold medal of these Games. It was scheduled for 10:59am Beijing time, which was 10:59pm Eastern Daylight Time, and that time zone got to see it live. On the west coast, it would have been 7:59 Pacific Daylight Time, one minute before “official” prime time, so they instead broadcast the event at 10:59pm PDT, three hours later, well after I read the results and analysis online, negating the need to watch the event. The night’s coverage even began broadcasting at 7:30pm, starting with the women’s marathon. You would think that for the amount of hype Phelps has received, NBC would be smart enough to break into their own coverage to show this event live.
Another thing I dislike is NBC’s insistence of primarily showing events that Americans have a chance of winning. I like to watch the Olympics to see athletes, at the top of their sport, compete. I want to watch people from other countries that have no chance at winning, but are still proud to represent their country in the true measure of sportsmanship, without guarantees of prize money or sponsorship (see Eric Moussambani and on youtube). I want to see badminton, archery, and table tennis, sports that are rarely on American television. Why do I need to see more basketball and the potential disgrace of a losing American squad? Get over it, it’s been 16 years since the Dream Team, other countries have had plenty of time to get better at basketball.
But I digress. The Olympics are symbolized by a flame, more specifically, the Olympic Flame. That flame needs to sit somewhere, and when they want to transport it here and there, need some sort of conveyance. Enter the Torch. After the introduction of the modern Olympics in 1896, the flame became a tradition starting in 1928. The Olympic Torch relay was introduced for the first time in the 1936 Games, held in Berlin, when a not-so-popular, history-is-unkind-to-him man named Adolf was in power.
Now let’s forget the history lesson and see some nifty pictures, eh? These are the coolest Olympic Torch designs, as judged by me. If you disagree, get your own blog. The New York Times has a flash page of the various Olympic Torches, but since I can’t link flash stuff here, I’ll let you go see it for yourself. The following images were borrowed from the Olympic wiki page (minus my one flickr image).