Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Handball and Olympics Wrap up

I'll be honest, the Olympics took a lot out of me. I was used to taking it easy during the week (except Tuesday pick-up, the best weeknight of the week!). My usual routine is: leave work at 6, walk home, drop off stuff, relax, go out for dinner, return by 9, relax, go to bed. But just about every work day during the Olympics, i found myself rushing home, grabbing the first cab i could find, and heading out for 6 hours of whatever was on the menu. There were going-away parties, Olympic parties, events (parties), and parties. I was so burned out that i didn't take a single picture this weekend.

I saw my last event on Sunday, the last day of the Olympics. Handball! Handball is actually pretty sweet, and I found myself getting into it regardless of being hungover. Yes, i've glossed over Saturday, but will detail it when Tao gives me all his pictures.

Anyway, if you don't know what Handball is, i'm not going to try to explain it. Simply put, it's like water polo. Minus the water. We saw Spain win the Bronze (yay!) and France overtake Iceland in the finals. Honestly, the most amusing part about this was the announcer. We are reasonably certain he had never announced (or seen!) a game of handball before. And he kept making up nicknames for the Icelandic players, presumably because he was exhausted from saying their actual names. These factors coupled to give us such gems as:

"Here's someone we haven't seen in a while, Ingimundur Ingimundurson,
The Falcon!"

"They've given it to Big Foot, the big man in the middle!"

"That was a great Handball play!"

"Iceland's scored to bring the game to within 8 points! Now they just
need 9 more plays like that one! In a row!"

"Another score by Bjorgvin Gustavsson, The Falcon!"

All things considered, it was amazing being in Beijing for the Olympics. I'll probably never be lucky enough to reside in the host city again, so i'm thankful i came when i did. It would be a real shame to have missed this experience by a month, or to have been dealing with culture shock at the same time. It was also really impressive to see everything Beijing had done to make their city cleaner, more modern, and more efficient. The Chinese are the worldwide benchmark of efficiency, as this event has demonstrated. They can literally accomplish anything when they want to.

I suggest you all start learning Chinese. Or start playing Handball; they seem to like that too.