Olympic coverage

August 1, 2012

I don’t like the skewing of Olympic coverage towards individuals and dramatic stories.  I like the aesthetics of the high-caliber performance of a sport, and I like when the commentary explains to me the details of what contributes to that — even just calling attention to techniques that separate a good performance from an excellent one.

Further complicating the actual coverage is how our media seem to have decided before the events even began which individuals to pay their most attention to.  It’s not like the evening news where bias is overtly frowned upon, but it seems, for my taste, too much like boosterism even in the context of sports nonetheless.

The other frustration I wanted to express is something I may have picked up years ago from my college roommate who introduced me to the finer points of gymnastics (she was a gymnast, her brother was a gymnast, their mother a coach, and I became women’s team manager).  I like the balletic aspect of gymnastics, the flow that some gymnasts have on balance beam, the gracefulness of their limb extension, for examples.  The coverage does mention some of this, but our cultural orientation seems not only to focus more on muscular difficult tumbling but not to even wish for a gymnast who can do both, the difficult tumbling within a graceful presentation.

And one of my smaller frustrations: the live streaming online is only available to customers who pay for their TV reception.  I’ve lived without WGBH (the local PBS station in Boston) for months while they fix their antenna in Needham, I can live without more extensive Olympics coverage, but it bothers me to feel left behind by the mainstream media because I don’t make paying for TV a priority in my household budget.

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