I’ve been spending a lot of time lately watching TV, and for once, my mom isn’t yelling at me. In fact, she’s sitting right next to me, enjoying the competition of the 2012 Olympic Games. This opportunity comes along once every four years, but being a couch potato this year has become much more meaningful than in the past.
Now that I’m 18, I’ve grown to appreciate the Olympics much more than when I was merely 14, 10 or 6. While watching the athletes compete in different sports, I am now able to recognize the amount of talent these competitors possess.
In 2008, when the games were in Beijing, I watched the Olympics simply to cheer on the U.S. athletes. This year, I have much more of an interest in watching specific events and have more knowledge of the individual athletes. My viewing perspective has also dramatically changed after competing for four years of high school sports including competing in the State Track Meet as a junior and senior.
During my high school career, I ran for the track and field team, played my fair share of beach volleyball, and attended a number of gymnastic meets to watch my sister compete.
After seeing and experiencing a high school level of talent in many sports, the Olympics have become so much more incredible to watch. When viewing my own sport of track and field, I now look for specific techniques and minor flaws in each runner and I’m sure everyone watching a sport that they’ve played in their past can watch in awe at the skill and athleticism these Olympians demonstrate.
Another highlight of the Olympics for me is watching the innovative commercials. Nearly every advertisement on NBC over the past few weeks has been related to sports and the Olympics in some way. I've enjoyed watching former and current Olympic athletes act and perform in something other than their events.
For all of us living in the North Shore of Chicago, it is fun to root for our hometown athletes. won two gold medals as well as one silver medal while swimming for our country.
, also from Lake Forest, competed for Israel in the pole vault. Unfortunately, she did not make finals. Former Warrior made it to the finals in the three-meter springboard competition and placed eighth. Although Jillian and Christina did not medal, it is such an accomplishment just to make it to the Olympic Games and compete amongst the best athletes in the world.
One frustration for me has been the six-hour time difference between home and London. On multiple occasions, whether the news, the Internet, or even my own mother has announced who wins the gold in certain events before it airs on TV.
For my favorite events such as some of the track and field finals, I may watch them live in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the 2016 games will be in Brazil, where the time change is just two hours ahead and we can all watch the events live.
With just five more days of the Olympics, I look forward to sitting on my couch with my family and friends to watch countries from all over the globe compete in some pretty fantastic sporting events.