Rio 2016

Day 6: Olympics, Canada Style

One day behind, thanks to odd Internet connections. I’m in Winnipeg this weekend to lead a roller derby officiating clinic. This does mean that my Olympic viewing will be slightly [A LOT] truncated, so coverage may be spotty. Hang in there, dear Readers, because even though I might not be able to post much, I get to post about Canadian coverage, which is its own special form of newness and fun. Let’s get to it, eh?

My journey here was BOS -> LGA -> YYZ -> YWG. I first was able to catch some Olympic action in the Toronto airport, where one of the bars had it on two screens. The sports? Basketball and tennis. For realz? Eventually basketball switched over to gymnastics, which was better, but still.

Luckily, my last flight had in-seat live television, which meant that I could watch a couple of hours. Even better: The set next to me was blocked off, so I got to commandeer that screen too and have two different Olympic channels on. Score!

Let’s start with maybe one of the most important details about the difference between CBC Olympic coverage: Who is the CBC’s CBC (Canadian Bob Costas)? Well, he’s a gentleman named Scott Russell, who’s affable and knowledgeable and has a good voice and is probably just as beloved in Canada as my boyfriend Bob is back home.

Second important detail: NBC’s telecast theme song is much better than the CBCs. Just sayin’.

Third important detail: Guess what? The coverage here is Canadian-centric! Women’s gymnastics? Ellie Black was headlining the all-around competition…..oh, and there was some gymnast named Simone Biles hanging out at the venue too. Ellie Black (full name Elisabeth, which was a surprise to a Canadian family who were watching in the airport) did really well, placing 5th (she’d hoped for 8th).

Among other competitions I saw, Fiji claimed its first gold medal. First gold, and they’ve been competing in the Olympics since Melbourne 1956. Chew on that one, American. They absolutely stomped all over silver medalists Team GB, who were frankly very lucky to have gotten 7 points at all and almost looked like the poor Colombian women.

I also saw a table tennis match between a Japanese player and a Belorussian man who was so tall that I didn’t understand how he could be an elite player. Seriously, he might have had to squat the entire match.

Rounding out the fun, track cycling showed up on the screen, which was excellent. The got the venue up and going, and it looks beautiful. I just hope the conditions are good and that it’ll be used after the Games somehow.

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