Olympigs, summer version

New Olympics, new sports.

Not new to the athletes, of course. New to us.

In the last winter Olympics, we became acquainted with curling, which we liked enough that we stop to watch it on the rare occasions we bump into it (yay, Canadian television). I can’t say any of the summer sports we were unfamiliar with has enchanted us so, but we have learned a few things.

Saber, which the American women swept early on, was puzzling to watch because we never could tell when a point had been scored except that they yelled and backed away from each other. Water polo looks woefully unorganized, which I’m sure is just a case of us not knowing how to watch it. It reminds me of keepaway.

The biggest surprise was handball, which I expected to be two people swatting a small ball against a wall. No, it’s more like soccer, but with passing instead of kicking, or like basketball without dribbling. The net looks like a soccer net but the ball is smaller, and the players are allowed to swap it out for a different one.

A few sports we already knew and loved. Gymnastics and beach volleyball are must-sees, and we all are Misty and Kerri fans from 2004. We remembered synchronized diving, and again the whole family finds it fascinating.

Then there are the divergences. My daughter has become a Phelps Phan, and while swimming holds as much interest for me as any race, I can’t say I’m attached to anyone in particular. My son has taken a late shine to tennis and hopes to play for his school, so he has been devouring the tennis matches, pretty well regardless of what country or gender is playing.

Some of it gets old. I quickly passed on the cycling, and while I watched a bit of equestrian jumping, after the fifth or so horse I was done with that, too.

My daughter wanted to record all of it, and I told her that with a 40-hour DVR and NBC’s 1300-or-whatever hours of planned showings, some selectivity would be required. She chose to record a few shifts while we were gone for a weekend of camping and losing at softball, and still managed to wipe out everything we had been saving.

Ah well. We have reconstructed (thanks, SciFi reruns) most of the Eureka and Atlantis that our missionary family members missed, and the rest isn’t a great loss.

Besides, we’re busy for the next week and a half anyway. Time to be Olympigs again.

This post originally appeared on ourMidland.com, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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