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Navigating through my London fog/The Red Line

August 2, 2012
By Brandon Veale - DMG Sports Editor ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

Tuesday night, I had the following thought: "I have just watched a sport I don't particularly like (diving), in an event with no Americans (the women's sychronized platform), from start to finish and could not think of any more interesting activity.

Do I need therapy?

Do I need more things to do?

Do I need fall sports to start?"

Those days are coming, but the Games of the XXX Olympiad have been on my mind ever since I watched the closing ceremony from Beijing while writing my friends and telling them I was moving to Houghton back in August 2008.

Five days are complete, and I only have so much space, so here's an abridged version of some of my Olympic stream of consciousness.

So far, it appears Team USA is really good at swimming, volleyball, women's gymnastics and skeet shooting. Wait, skeet shooting?

Yes, gold medalists Kim Rhode and Vincent Hancock went a combined 247/250. If I hadn't seen Rhode shoot, I would have assumed she was sitting too close to the TV. Seriously, if this really were "Duck Hunt," they would have even let these guys shoot that laughing dog.

Speaking of animals, Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, helped Great Britain to a silver medal in the equestrian three-day event. I caught a bit of Zara's dressage routine. Dressage, which is basically a series of movements to demonstrate unity and obedience between horse and rider, isn't terribly interesting, but I had to change it. This wasn't a boredom issue, but with my allergies I can't even watch horses on TV without starting to sneeze.

As for random sports, I woke up to Korea vs. Norway women's team handball Wednesday morning. This is why I feel uniquely thrilled to be an American in the 21st century. I have freedom of worship, freedom of speech and freedom to watch South Korea vs. Norway women's team handball (in high definition) at 5 a.m.

Speaking of Korea, the North Koreans have won two weight classes in weightlifting already.

Tim Tebow may thank Jesus, but in Pyongyang, the shoutouts go to the Dear (and now, Dead) Leader.

"How can any man lift 168 kilograms? (370 pounds) I believe the great Kim Jong-Il looked over me," said champion Om Yun Chol after lifting three times his bodyweight.

Meanwhile, the Dear Leader's women's soccer team is 1-0 when shown with the South Korean flag in player introductions and 0-2 when shown with the North Korean flag.

In the pool, Michael Phelps has somehow morphed from Poseidon incarnate to mildly disappointing because it took him more than one try to win his 15th career gold medal. After all, he only has more gold medals in three Olympics than the entire country of Mexico (population: 113,000,000) ever. He has 15 of the 941 Olympic gold medals won by Americans all-time. Only 1.6 percent. Such a disappointment.

In volleyball, it appears the only thing Team USA has done wrong is the pointless beveling on the names and numbers of the women's team's uniforms.

Destinee Hooker's name might sound funny, but the joke's on you when the 6-4 four-time college high jump champion faces a single blocker. (Yes, she can dunk a basketball.)

So far, the U.S. has taken world No. 2 Brazil and No. 3 China out behind the woodshed in back-to-back outings. There's a lot of points to play, but "Volleyball is a game of runs," and we're on a good one.

The men's indoor team is also undefeated, and the beach pairs are a combined 11-1. Of course, cold weather has forced Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings into actual clothes for their matches, though it appears the viewing public considers head-to-toe spandex an acceptable substitute given the Games' stellar ratings thus far.

I'm not going to hate on NBC for showing some of the good stuff on tape. It's like expecting McDonalds to make your Big Mac medium rare. Just know this: Wednesday, CBC announced it won Canadian television rights back for the 2014 Winter and 2016 Summer Games.

Because I really need another channel to watch next time around.

Brandon Veale can be reached at Watch the Olympics with him via Twitter at



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