Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Once again, Olympic confusion

I'm not one of those people who goes Olympic crazy everytime the Olympics come to life and take over everyone's entire existence for about three weeks before fading away for a few years. So as a result of my only very casual interest, I don't have tons of Olympic facts at hand, like those people who are superfans and know every statistic, every athlete, every backstory, every nuance of competition.

With all that said, I have a question or two. I've watched very little television coverage but a few puzzling thoughts immediately occured to me:

Synchronized diving? Isn't it enough that someone can execute these amazing dives as an individual? Why do two divers have to match? Who said doing this side by side is worth judging? Is there a reason synchronization is connected to water competition? Why not synchronized pole vaulting? Synchronized archery? Synchronized curling in the Winter Olympics?

More pressing is this: why are the male swimmers wearing more fabric on their bodies than the female beach volleyball players? I know. Something about slickness and cutting through the water with very little drag that results in faster times and new world records. But what could the volleyball "uniforms" - and I use that term in the same way someone could call lingerie "pajamas" - possibly be contributing to their performace as athletes? The female volleyball players are wearing bras and bikini pants. Is there a reason wearing shorts and tops would have a negative impact on their games?

Hey - that sand isn't all that soft. In fact, I'm guessing it can be pretty abrasive so wouldn't the players welcome bike shorts and tank tops? The male volleyball players wear shorts and tank tops.

Well, I'm not some enormous volleyball fan and maybe there is some compelling reason the women are on display in fairly revealing "uniforms," but if you're going to outfit the women in tight, tiny underwear, I say the men should play in their skins -no shirts. I've never seen men play volleyball wearing clothing on the top half of their bodies. In fact, the Olympics is probably the only venue on the planet where men do wear shirts to play volleyball.

I'm sure I'll have more puzzling thoughts about the Olympics in the weeks to come. If I get a chance to post them, I will. And welcome your thoughts as well!


Anonymous said...

I happen to know the reason for the T-Shirts for male volleyball players.
When you play at that level you do not want sweaty hands, balls slip and slide. As all men know the t-shirts and shorts (or any other clothing item of appropriate quality) are for wiping the hands.
Somehow women are genietically programmed to use a towel.


renee said...

Thank you for the insight. Hilarious but insightful.

Then again, maybe the women athletes just don't sweat - they glow.

God knows. I read the news that one of them is going to be a "star" on Dancing with the Stars this fall. From what I know of that show, I'll bet she wears just slightly more clothing on stage than she did on the beach.