A few of you may know that sports do not interest me much. Oh, I'll watch a playoff game, super bowl, or world series every so often but that's pretty much it. There has been one exception over the years - the Olympics. Every two years (every four years when I was a kid) I would try to watch as much as possible. As I've grown older, I have watched less. Maybe this year it will be different.
The Olympics is dominated by individual sports. I think the idea of an individual succeeding instead of a team is much more appealing to me. I guess that doesn't make me much of a team player. I do miss the days when the athletes were all amateurs. Introducing professionals, in my opinion, weakened the appeal of the games.
What does this have to do with anything? Some of you may know that the Olympic swimming trials are being held in Omaha. Last night we went to one of the events. We first heard about the trials from the Wife's brother TE. TE volunteered at the Atlanta Games and, this year, he's volunteered for the Olympic swimming trials. He is staying at our place, our first house guest, while he works at the trials. (TE is not the first of the Wife's family to visit - The Wife's other brother, TI, stopped by a week and a half ago while he waited for his daughter to fly in from Phoenix.) Here is TE, up on a catwalk high in the Qwest center signing that he's number one.
Before the event we went out to eat with TE. We decided to try out a nearby brewpub in the old market district of Omaha. The pub, the Upstream Brewing Company, had some good food and a good variety of home brewed beers. In a way, this was a trial run for when the beer nuts, the Best Man and Matron of Honor, come to visit. I think they'll like it.
We picked up our tickets and found our seats. We were at the turn-around end of the pool (I'm sure there's some techical name for that end of the pool but I don't know what it is). We ended up seeing 10 races which included two new world record times (Natalie Coughlin and Aaron Peirsol - both in the 100m backstroke). I took lots of pictures (over 130) but I discovered that I'm not a very good swimming action photographer. I did get a few pictures worth posting including this one of Michael Phelps doing the Butterfly.
For the gadget freaks out there, and I know you're there, there was one at the trials. We were seated right behind the award ceremony platform. Above, and slightly behind, the platform was what I would describe as a water dot matrix printer. The long bar of boxes dropped streams of water that were dyed green and illuminated. The streams were controlled by computerized valves so that letters and graphics could be generated with the water. Our vantage point, from the back, was not the best but I did get a closeup picture of the Digital Water. It was cool to watch as the letters and Olympic symbols seemed to stretch as they left the 'printer'.
I look forward to watching the Beijing games later this summer.