Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympics, etc.

Here, they are known simply as, "London 2012". 

Team Great Britain is currently 3rd in the medals tally, behind China and the US.  However, you'd never know the Brits weren't virtually the only team in the Olympics.  We've never seen any competitions in which there was not a British contender for a medal.  Although I know I could look it up on the Internet, I have no idea who, among the Americans or the Chinese has won any medals for anything.

We mostly see the sports at which the British mostly excel:  equestiran events such as dressage and jumping; water sports such as rowing, sculling, sailing, swimming, cycling races.

The medalists here receive more adulation than American medalists do.  The BBC, instead of using the air time to show another event, spends a lot of time interviewing these athletes and talking to supporters in their home towns and so forth.

The only other news on the television is of Syria.  (For a more balanced picture, or rather to get complementary unbalanced views, can get the pro-Syrian government side's propaganda from the Russia Today channel.) 

Even Vladimir Putin's visit to 10 Downing Street got virtually no press coverage.  It was simply mentioned that he was here and that Syria was most likely on the agenda.  There wasn't even a press conference afterwards. 


123 said...

I was just having a conversation with a French friend married to a Polish-American who spent many years in Switzerland before moving to the US. We noted that 'everyone is parochial', even those countries we think of as being the most cosmopolitan and well-traveled. Individuals are always the exception and some countries have more such individuals, but we all have our cultural blindspots - even the most well-traveled and international still assume things they assume. And yes, there are 'ugly Americans', but there are 'uglies' in every country and they aren't usually barred from visiting the US or anywhere.

So, you watch all the events Team GB dominates or has a shot in while we watch US track and field, US gymnastics, US volleyball, US women's soccer, US basketball, US swimming (Phelps became the most medalled Olympic athlete in history), etc. - at least in prime time.

A friend was noting a similarly unique focus watching the Olympics from Serbia - lots of water polo and handball.