nepenthe: (Default)

BBC. Thank you. Viewing the women’s individual all-around was a relief, nay, an actual pleasure to watch, with many thanks to your commentators for being civil and fair an encouraging to all participants regardless of nationality. If Samuel L Jackson’s RAGEtweets are anything to go by, the NBC commentators were up to their asshat shenanigans. Again. And I sure as hell didn’t miss anything by watching the games via them. Someone send Mr. Jackson a link to TunnelBear!

I don’t think I can explain what went down during the all-around better than this:

So I’ll leave the bulk of it there, but have my own two cents to add. I don’t think it can emphasized enough: this match was CLOSE. It was a beautiful, beautiful, match. It was close. But I think I know what the difference was:

When Gabrielle Douglas took her mark, she’d already decided she’d won gold; the only reason she bothered to show up at all was to inform the rest of us.    

That’s why when Gabby was a smidge off-balance and ended up offside landing her otherwise faultless vault she refused to give way to a single step. Not. One. Step.

When Komova took her start at the vault, my first thought was, ‘That poor girl looks anxious. Dare I say frightened?’ When she committed the same sort of error, landing offside in the exact same spot at Gabby, Komova . . . she didn’t fight to hold. With an air of defeat she took not one step, not two, but three right off the platform. I’ll grant that maybe the first step was unavoidable—better a step than to fall over. The second step? Er. . .she’s an Olympian and a fabulous one at that, she probably could have stuck it with a wobble, but a wobble’s better than a step. Still. What the fuck do I know? It’s not like I could’ve pulled that shit off. But the third right off the platform?!  She just threw away a crapton of points since the only thing worse to do on vault than step off the platform is not land feet-first (as the British found out; that poor, poor, poor girl received 0. Nothing. Nada. I teared up it was so painful to watch).

My BBC commentators agreed with me, surprised as anything that Komova had simply given up. In retrospect, she ended up losing gold by .25 of a point, she could’ve kept at LEAST .5 of a point if she’d fought to keep on the platform. That first vault determined the match, given how amazing both Gabrielle and the two Russians where on EVERYTHING, if you haven’t watched, you have NO. IDEA.

But my lovely BBC commentators put it succinctly:

“That vault wasn’t any worse than the Americans, wasn’t any more offside, but she just gave up.”

And then the other man added,

“But that has been the difference between the Americans and the rest of the world: they will fight to the bitter end.”

On balance beam, you could see the difference between Gabby and Aly’s approach versus the Russians. The Americans went for big air, big shows of strength and power and acrobatics (and succeeded, holy shit SUCCEEDED). (BBC: “The way the American dominate this apparatus; it’s almost as if they demand it do as they command). The Russians went for poise and grace and flexibility. My British commentator was spot on describing Komova: “She has a waif-like appearance which belies her power. Her shapes are memorizing.”  If you doubt this, look to the gifs in the above link which shows one of Komova’s perfect leaps. The BBC showed Mustifina in slow motion and yes, she leapt about 4 feet in the air, touched bottom of her feet to the back of her head creating a perfect circle with her body, and nailed the landing. Trouble was, they couldn’t hold their dismounts and neither of them went as high as Gabrielle. Gabrielle went for connecting her elements; Komova kept hesitating—she’d start to go for an element, pull back, and end up wobbling and Mustifina chose not to connect her elements, giving up points she needed, especially when she ended by effing up an Arabian.

The uneven bars were where Gabby gave up just a few points: Gabby goes higher than anyone. The. Air. She nails her catches and her dismount only had one step. She earned a big score and maintains her rep as “The flying squirrel”. But the Russian women had straighter lines. Those lines. You could make yard sticks based on how straight Komova’s lines were. And it was here where Komova got her groove back. It was like somebody’d passed her a big bottle of confidence. No more hesitation. No more scared-deer-in-headlights look on her face. She still didn’t look happy but at least she had a poker face instead of verging on tears.

Gabby was happy. Gabby was fucking joyous. It was ridiculously infectious. If I’m having a bad day, I’m gonna go back and watch Gabby’s floor routine because I had a big, stupid grin on my face the whole time. The above article mentions that Gabby was a ‘crowd pleaser’. Fuck that! She had the stadium and judges eating out of her tiny, solid-muscle hands.

A little background on floor for those unfamiliar: floor judging is the most subjective of all the apparatuses and tends to be the area where the judges are least forgiving. Yes, they judge form, skill, and difficulty for the tumbling as on everything. But they also judge the artistry of the dance routines (how ‘pretty’ it is, as the above article mentioned). They even judge how well the chosen music fits the performance.  And I think this is where Gabby (and her coaches and support) chose correctly.

She chose We No Speak Americano and rocked that shit. She was all joy, BIG air and popped every tumble with a flourish punctuation mark but one, just to prove she was in total control of the tumble. Her dance breaks were in perfect sync with the music, were in the same style as the music and the entire stadium was stomping and clapping (some people were outright dancing) right along with her and the music. Psychologically, I’m positive that happiness and energy translated into the few extra points she needed to win gold.

The Russians also chose their routines and music to their strengths: grace and poise. They’ve obviously trained as ballerinas. Holy. Shit. At one point Mustifina’s legs were pointed in four different directions at once. I don’t need to describe the liquid fluidity of Komova movements: watch that fucking gif. But there’s no denying it: they chose solemn, poised music to fit their solemn, poised performances. There was no rhythmic clapping, no whipping the audience into a frenzy. Was it breathtaking? Absolutely. Did they choke like they did during the team match? Not in the least. Psychologically, I’m sure the judge deducted no points by their solemnity, but I’m just as sure they didn’t gain any by it.  

Still. Two different styles, three amazing gymnasts, but it was Gabby who gave no quarter. Not to anyone, not for any reason. Komova and Mustifina handed her the gold back at the vault and balance beam and there was no regaining those missed points.

When the scores were up in the air after Komova’s virtually flawless floor routine, I was anxious beyond measure. It was agony because I wanted it for Gabrielle Douglas soooooo bad, but Komova was soooooo close on her heels.

I screamed and cheered and clapped and had myself a little one-woman celebration when it was Gabrielle.  Totally shameless.

I also discovered why the Americans have those hideous warm-up jackets. When the lights go down right before the medaling ceremony when all the competitors and people to hand out the medals are lining up and USUALLY everything and everyone disappears in the dark, the Americans SHINE LIKE PILLARS OF LIGHT. So for that breath before the women received their medals, all the floor equipment and podium and people disappeared in the dark, leaving the lone soul in the gynormous stadium an illuminated Gabrielle glowing like and angel, face lit by her clothes.

(And the gold medal for best sportswear designer goes to whoever came up with that idea for team USA!!! )

nepenthe: (Default)

It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I thoroughly enjoy the Olympic Games.  I love them so much for so many reasons I cannot adequately convey. Is it the joy of seeing human beings astounding us with sweeping demonstrations of heights of power, endurance, and beauty the human mind and body can achieve? Yes! Is it the joy I experience when the superficial boundaries of geography are overcome and athletes are drawn into one place at one time so they can do what they have prepared their whole lives for? Yes! Do I drool a little over the sculpted abs and tight, tight bums? YOU BETCHA!

I look forward to this every two years. I plan my schedule around viewing events. At my shitty job, I say to myself, ‘Hey, this sucks, but tonight I’m gonna break out the Bailey’s and watch Misty and Kerri slaughter their opposition on the beach!’ or ‘I want Gabby to show how AWESOME gymnasts from middle-of-nowhere Iowa can be!’

These games should be relatively easy to cover. Obviously, I don’t mean from a logistics standpoint. Logistically, I’m sure it is un-fucking-believably difficult to organize and on that front, NBC has been champs. I’m talking about from a commentator’s standpoint; the events are so amazing, the feats so astounding, the heart-break of losing so pure agony and triumph of achievement so human, you really don’t have to say much of anything.

Actually, you SHOULDN'T say much of anything.

You shouldn’t cut out entire sets of volleyball. You shouldn’t cut out entire sets of the most-anticipated game in volleyball that only comes once every 4 years. You shouldn’t cut out a set where the most-decorated athletes FROM THE COUNTRY YOU ARE COVERING THIS EVENT FOR, who have never lost a single Olympic set let alone game have just LOST THEIR FIRST SET EVER and we the audience are now in agony, biting our nails to find out if they might *audible GASP* lose their first-ever game, and when Misty and Kerri rally together and pull out an astounding come-back, of 21-8, what fucktard at NBC thinks: ‘Cut it’.

Let’s cut that.

Let’s not show what must have whipped that crowd into a frenzy.

What must have been amazing.

Nobody wants to see how these women, who’d just suffered one of the biggest disappointments in their ENTIRE CAREERS UP TO THIS MOMENT overcame whatever had been holding them back and CRUSHED THEIR OPPOANTS.

Who could possibly want to see THAT?

I DID. I so very, very, very much wanted to see that for myself

I’d thought it was my mistake. Maybe I’d gone too far fast-forwarding my DVR. I literally started shouting, ‘NO, NO, NO, GO BACK YOU STUPID RECORDING, I DON’T WANT TO GO STRAIGHT TO THE END’ and after fiddling with my remote for 10 minutes, with shock and horror, realized NBC had skipped the middle of the game to the (still nail-biting) tie-breaker.




I then had the pleasure of watching a 16 year old swimmer demonstrate the maturity and discipline of people who are four times her age by winning a gold medal in the Olympics. This was followed by overhearing two insecure middle aged while males acting with all the maturity of school-yard bullies who didn’t get their own way by spreading 100% unsubstantiated rumors about her behind her back in a desperate ploy to undercut her achievement.


Edit: (No, I will not repeat what those assholes said about her. You know why? Because I am a mature adult and you know what? MATURE ADULTS DO NOT REPEAT UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMORS)

All of this was topped off by the commentators during the woman’s gymnastics team games.

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most highly-anticipated matches of the summer games is women’s gymnastics. It is truly an enthralling thing to watch. Throw in the fact I was in gymnastics for 4 summers growing up in Iowa and there is/was an Iowan-trained gymnast on the team this year (GO GABBY!!!!!!!!<3<3<3 !!!!!!!!! I root for you!!!!!!!!!!)  it’s one of the few sports I have an actual understanding of all the rules and a true, personal understanding of the depth of difficulty, time, pain, WORK that goes into this level of performance. I was SUPER excited to watch! I informed every single one of my coworkers that if they so much as BREATHED a spoiler to me I would hate them for all eternity. I had a no-chatty-about-the-Olympics-zone around my desk. My twin called me, excited, knowing I was looking forward to the time I when I’d be at home, capable of seeing what I’d been waiting for and I told her not to tell me or I would got out to DC and eviscerate her.

Then it was time and I was watching and it was everything I could hope for! And by that, I mean the athletes were brilliant and everything I could have hoped for and it was super fun to cheer them on.  The commentary was minimally irritating and mindless, which I’d come to expect and I refused to let it bother me.

Right up until the NBC commentators were ranting during one of the Romanian’s balance beam routines. It wasn’t going well for the girl, not at all and the asshole commenting then remarks, casually, ‘Don’t worry, after this they’re going to rally later’.

I had to stop the DVR.

I FUMED. I stormed around my apartment, frightening Ampersand with my stomping and shouting at the TV. How could they?! HOW COULD THEY???!!!!!! I know these assholes had the privilege and joy of seeing the events live. I know they already know who wins. I know they’re excited. But you know what? SOME OF US (the millions watching this at home) DID NOT HAVE THAT JOY AND PRIVLEDGE. We have to watch it at home, after the fact. The LEAST these assholes can do is fucking PRETEND they don’t already know the outcome, don’t already know who wins and loses. With that fucking statement, they gave away that Romania was going to medal and THAT WAS SOMETHING I WANTED TO SEE FOR MYSELF, not hear from self-satisfied, self-absorbed, asshole who gets his rocks off by RUINING THE OLYMPICS FOR THE MILLIONS TRYING TO WATCH.

Al; hnasdfnadvfn; vadfn; asdvhui awerqhui agdfbjkfvbhuipfaipfaihaehipdxviohu abjkafsdvafh fdvbdsh

If there is one thing, ONE THING, I’d like to say to the commentators at NBC it’s this:


I called effex and fumed to her. She can attest to how angry I was and how much that broke my heart. After all I did to avoid spoilers, it was the NBC commentators who’ve made active decisions to ruin the game for the rest of us. What makes me even more furious is that while the message of these egalitarian London Games has been, “This is for everyone” NBC’s monopoly over how those of us in the US can watch the games has ensured that isn’t true. They jealously guard access to the games, trying to force us to watch them and their corporate-sponsored money-making babies. 

No more. NEVER AGAIN. This is as bad as, if not worse than the invasions of privacy NBC committed sneaking up on and recording and broadcasting what athletes and coaches thought were their privet conversations and pep talks and emotional breakdowns last winter (I was positively gleeful when NBC was fined a few hundred thousand for broadcasting a few ‘fucks’ because they snuck up on snowboarders and their coaches who didn’t realize they were being recorded live).

*Deep breath*

Needed to get that out.

I am not one to write official letters, but I am going to do so about this matter. I am going to write NBC and the Olympic Committee. Not that I expect they will give a shit or make any changes because of one tiny woman, but I want to formally lodge complaints against NBC’s childish behavior and abysmal coverage (well, their total lack thereof).

I will continue to watch the Games, but never, ever will I do so through NBC. Thanks to the Internet (This is for Everyone. Yes. Yes, it truly is.) I don’t have to put up with being bullied by NBC when all I want to do is enjoy the Olympics from the comfort of my own home, and I’m not going to.

All my love to woman’s gymnastics! 

Mor Recs

Mar. 18th, 2010 11:15 pm
nepenthe: (Apolo JR)
Because of all the win going on at the Winter Games Kink last night, I have two more to share with you kids:

This is what happens after Apolo tweets about a 911 cupcake emergency:
he was buttercream, too! A truly complete waste of deliciousness!

Om nom nom.

And this is what kind of prompt is spawned when the short track team agrees to do a live chat from their hotel room:
he's just standing in a closet with Simon, both of them half-naked, and this is so totally not how he expected his night to go.

Choski v. Ohski. May the shipping wars begin!

nepenthe: (Default)
Recs! We all love story recs and I has them!

Doctor Who:

An alien git and possessed office supplies

What more could you ask for from an office pet?

Winter Olympics, from the Winter Games Kink Meme:

The contact high, man. Read the prompt request, then scroll down for your story: hey, dude, you know what Apolo hasn't done in a long time? Motherfucking pillow fort, holy shit, that would be the best idea.

From here on out, this is the voice of Apolo in my head.

You know you’re in for a treat when your author prefaces her/his work with: So going to hell for writing this omg.

We can all go to hell together!

And the prompt for the WinterGamesKink that I'm working on is: Harlequin-esque-tastic

nepenthe: (Apolo JR)

I love Jordan Malone for posting his home movies.

Here's the short track team arriving at their Village dorm and finding their rooms. LOVE what the planning committee they did to their kitchen to keep kids from burning the building down ("That is pretty ghetto").
Jordan shows us more of the free stuff in their gift bag (I love how as soon as JR realizes there are Pringles, he runs back to his room and starts munching away). Their neighbors are Sweeden and there's some kind of alien device in their closet. Random t-shirts are random.

Unexpected Apolo is always Unexpected.


nepenthe: (Default)

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