Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Medalilng in Overnights

Did you enjoy the Olympics? Despite our tendency to hyperbolize, racialize, and misogynize  the games, I effing love the Olympics. Just like the Tour de France, it's an opportunity to see the best in the world at sports you don't get to watch everyday (at least not in my bargain cable plan). It's even that much more exciting because I wasn't boycotting this year!

In years past, I objected to many of the host countries for various reasons. Canada: Seal hunt. China: Cruelty to dogs. At least in Sochi there was media attention paid to the dogs that were displaced, resulting in rescue efforts. But, like with many of my boycotts, the Olympics didn't seem to be pining for my viewership. Let's face it, none of these instances are like the Berlin "Nazi" Olympics where our entire country threatened to pull out.

When the London games aired four years ago, I was supremely bummed to be spending most of those two weeks working. In addition to a full summer vacation client lineup, I was doing overnights in an unusual situation. The terrier, Rogelio, and I were going to be staying at the home of an elderly aunt who didn't speak English. Not to worry, her aide would be there the whole time ... who also didn't speak English.

Talk about awkward. Rogelio and I spent most of our time up in "our" room with figurines of Jesus and Mary watching over us. I desperately wanted to watch the games but felt like an inconvenience asking to change the channel from Sabado Gigante. For the record, they kindly offered me the remote and gestured for me to stay downstairs. I'm just an introvert even when I speak the same language. If I happened to overhear the games while heating up Rogelio's home made food, we would slide into the living room to watch for a bit. It was a pretty enlightening experience watching the games from an international perspective, Vamos Chile!

Reflecting back on my budget and technology in 2012, it's amazing that I couldn't "just stream it" on my smart phone. Now I can not only do that, but also brush up on my Spanish with the DuoLingo app. We've all come a long way in 4 short years, not just Michael Phelps.

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