Every four years, patriotism

Once every four years, I’m a really interested in sports like hockey and rowing and stuff like that. Yes, every four years I spend too much time watching tv and feeling like all the world is one big family. That’s what makes the Games so special: the entire world is watching, and it feels cosy. Of course we all just one the first place for ourselves, but even then it’s a cosy feeling. And suddenly, you become an expert in a certain sport you don’t even do yourself. The grades of gymnastics is no longer a mysterious number for me, and I can easily say if a dismount was good or bad.

Gaelle Mys doing incredible things during the qualifications of gymnastics. She’s not made the finals. *sob*

It all started four years ago for me. I was fourteen then, I had never really cared about the Games because I didn’t really know what it was. But four years ago, I was hooked. Suddenly there was platform diving (Google translate product… if it’s the wrong name, please let me know) on tv. Suddenly unknown Belgian talents appeared and we won medals! Belgium is quite a divided country. Three languages are spoken here, and next to that there’s a great difference between the attitudes of mind. But on two occasions, we are real Belgians: when we’re abroad, and when there’s a great sports event going on with booming Belgians. The no one cares about language at all. All Belgian athletes battle for all of us. If one of them wins, we’ll say that ‘we’ have a medal. Which is slightly unfair for the athletes, but okay.

Row, row, row your boat… This man was kick-ass!

Because of my joy four years ago, I couldn’t ignore the Games now either. I’ve seen the opening ceremony though I wasn’t at home. I’ve seen a few Belgian people now, going from badminton to hockey to table-tennis and so on. The man who represented us in the table-tennis competition had his seventh Games now. Imagine! Unfortunately, we’re mostly not good enough to win a medal, but at least we defend ourselves. Our hockey ladies had their first Olympic battle against the Dutch hockey ladies, who won gold in China… Plus: all of them are still studying. They’re no full-time hockiers and yet they almost survived the first part of the game without a Dutch goal… (Until right before the break the Dutchies suddenly scored a goal.)

The burden of at least 112 kg… He ended up on the twelfth place.

I mean, we’re not always the top of the top, but we won’t let ourselves be easily beaten. And for that, I want to honour all our dear Belgian athletes!
Oh, and in a few days, I’ll be going on a holiday with friends. WHY on earth are we traveling NOW? What was I thinking? What the hell was I thinking?

What sports are you following? You do follow the Games, right? Which athletes are defending your country’s honour? Babble to me, dears. Let it go!

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  1. I didn’t bother paying any attention to the Olympics until Beijing, either!

    I think the fact that Britain did really well, plus the fact that nearly all the events were available to watch online, changed it.

    Having it your own country is great as well. I loved the opening ceremony, I was expecting it to be rubbish.

    When it’s over, I’ll go back to having almost no interest in things like swimming, and rowing, again…

    Until next time, that is!

    It’s always nice to have something that can bring people together, if only for a while.

    • Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it? I don’t really like watching those sports either, unless it’s for the Games!
      I wish I could be there… Weren’t you one of the volunteers in the opening ceremony?

  2. I’m rooting for pretty much any team *except* Team USA, to be honest. I’ve had enough of my fellow Americans in the games. So Go Belgium!

    • Haha, that’s the spirit! We’ve got already one medal, so I’m already proud. I’d say, buy a Belgian flag, sing the Belgian hymne and move over here for some pure OG proudness!

  3. a gripping life

     /  July 30, 2012

    I like the opening ceremonies usually because it feels “cosy,” as you said. We’re all gathered as representatives of the world. One big happy or maybe dysfunctional family.
    I’m not gonna lie, I thought the opening ceremony this year was the worst one I’ve ever seen. Sorry, Michael. It was so disorganized and “cray cray,” as Lily would say. The idea was good but the execution was a disaster. I’m just saying…
    I like watching swimming, gymnastics, basketball, diving, rowing, etc. It’s all exciting. I actually don’t always root for the USA. I know crazy, right? I get hooked into the back stories and usually go for the underdogs. That’s just me : ) People who overcome adversity are always exciting to watch.

    • I’m not sure if I liked the opening ceremony. It was impressive, but sometimes slightly chaotic. Like ‘oh, a bunch of beds now’ and ‘oh, and now mister Bean appears’ and it was rather hard to follow, especially because I was really tired.
      Apparently Madame Weebles feels a lot like you :). Join us in and scream and shout for Belgium!

  4. I just haven’t been interested this year. I prefer the winter olympics.
    Though I hear (in the US), NBC (the broadcaster) is doing a truly horrific job with their commentary, so that might be fun to listen to for a bit…

    • Give it a try :). Yesterday we watched BBC who showed the (recorded) moment when G-B won a silver medal for the men gymnastics. They (the commentary guys) went absolutely crazy! Was quite funny to hear!
      I haven’t seen anything of the winter olympics, it’s the underdog of the Games, which is quite a pity. But I do like these a lot too.

  5. I totally agree with you. Every 4 years this phenomenon happens, our country gives us new reasons of joy, we stay in front of the TV, hooked, we yell(inside) when a gymnast doesn’t qualify for the finals, when her leg goes out of the mat, etc. We won a gold medal today. When I see Belgians I think of you, and I cheer for them(if they don’t compete with Romanians). 🙂
    The first time I watched the game, I was 10, It was in 2000 🙂

    • Congrats with your medal! In what sports was it? It’s a pity that they can’t show everything on tv. Yesterday it was all equestrian and judo during the day here. *yawn* It’s funny how you think of all your blog friends when you see certain countries. Last night, with the gymnastics, you just missed a medal, isn’t it? That was so confusing and a bit sad…

  6. I probably haven’t watched the Olympics since 1996. Even then I was smart enough to watch women’s gymnastics. Rooting for the US seems too much like rooting for the bad guys. Of course we’re going to be near the top, we put more money into athletics than helping out the poor. Maybe Michael Phelps will get swimmer’s ear and die.

    I’m with Madame Weebles. Let’s go Belgium!

    • Yeehaa! We’re on a roll! Why is it that the USA are most likely to win almost everything but don’t get support of their fellow countrymates? I haven’t heard anyone living there rooting for them. Sad :).
      Is swimmer’s ear a real disease or did you just made that up?

  7. I do the same thing! I couldn’t care less about volleyball or what have you, but once it’s all for the Olympics, I’ve got the TV on non-stop, cheering along. I’m def a fair-weather fan and I love it.

    • It’s way too hard to turn off the tv, you might miss out on something…! We tape all the ‘London 2012’ stuff, so we can still see everything later on. And suddenly, you find yourself cheering for beach volley :). It’s the weirdest thing, like an international epidemy.

  8. I like the winter games more – figure skating is my fave sport 🙂 (I know you are probably saying, Edita, you are too predictable, in your head) 😀

    It’s so cool to know that you are into the Games so much, you’d really love London right about now! 😀

    • I’m drooling at the thought of living in London right now!!
      Hey, can’t I stay with you for as long as the Games or going on? (Then I can steal your clothes too 😉 ).
      I wasn’t thinking you’re predictable :). Figure skating is the closest to dancing and I always like watching it too – it’s the ultimate combination between dance and sports!

      • I was thinking more about their amazing mini dresses! So sports, fashion AND dance. Woop wop. I am a journalist, btw. Yourself? 😉

      • I’m a student :). But currently I’m working at a shop to gain some money for my expensive life.
        Journalist, that’s so awesome, can I steal your life instead of just your clothes? Pretty please? 🙂

  9. Loved the opening ceremonies for the most part for one reason, the core of it was centered musically around the 60 years of rock and roll. Seems like in many years gone by it was so orchestrated with classical music (don’t get me wrong, love that too). But this year was totally rock topped off with rock royalty. Pink Floyd and Led Zep music? Wild. Do think it was a bit over the top with all of the props, but still great. Sorry to some- but I do cheer on the USA teams. They worked hard to get there and had a lot of other US atheletes in their path in their journey to be

    • But you do cheer for Belgium too, a bit, right…?
      Yes, the whole music idea was nice, but the awful quality ruined it for me. Like when the Artic Monkeys were playing – barely understandable. Pity because music was so important. It was nice organized and done, but I still think it was quite chaotic.

      But it’s nice to know you like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin!!

      • I do cheer for other countries. I also believe that this is a way in which we can better understand the world is really not that different in the human sense. One Bronze so far for Belgium. Love it. Agree the music was cool… love Artic Monkeys as well. Just nice that they moved into the modern world 🙂

  10. Ha! I’m the same. Will only follow certain sports during the olympics


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