Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Context is King: The Olympics

My husband is well versed in theology. It's a hobby and a passion for him. One of the phrases that he often uses is, "Context is King!" The gist is that you can't just take a verse out of its original context and use it however you want, even if it makes a nice refrigerator magnet. I thought of this phrase over and over again as we watched the Olympics. How many things, when taken in a different context, just seem wrong. On many levels.  

I realize that Mexican wrestling is not yet an Olympic sport. A tragic oversight from the IOC. I hope that in the future, my children can enjoy a dream realized in an Olympics that includes Mexican wrestling.

These sweet Chinese women are not so much afraid of being drop kicked in the jugular but instead, of getting sun on their face. The sun...the most formidable opponent to a Chinese women. The monster air conditioner would be the next most intimidating competitor.

Masks: appropriate in the ring, terrifying on the beach. 
Context is King.

Tears were shed be countrymen around the world as various songs representing proud people were sung. As we watched the American athletes watch their years of hard work culminate into the playing of the US National Anthem, we too felt united with America even though we live so far away. 

With a short turn around between swimming in his event and stepping up on that awards stand, even Michael Phelps knows that you put on clothes before sportin' the gold. Thank you.Michael.Phelps.

While this man is probably making his mama proud, the rest of us could do without the mental picture. I'm sure Jesus still hanging on the crucifix would also appreciate a shirt of some kind.

Gold Necklaces: Victorious on the Olympic awards stand, creepy on random hairy Italian beach-goers.  

Context is King.

And now we move over to the Aquatics Center where speed and resilience are key. Swimmers have been perfecting both their strokes and their suits for the last 100 years to make them cut even faster through the water. This year, the swimsuits were definitely underrepresented and at times I thought they had even forgotten to show up. Man, those things seemed small. Like an after thought really.

If slicing through the water at 35 mph isn't what you are trying to achieve, then wearing a small loin cloth in the pool is simply not necessary. 

Speedos: necessary for optimal impact and minimal splash in the diving pool, a gratuitous uniform when there is not way a minimal splash will be achieved in the hotel swimming pool.

Context is King.

The amount of strength it takes these gymnasts to hold themselves up and defy gravity is remarkable. It is totally understandable for a person who is doing rings in the men's individual competition to cramp up in their arms. 

It is not ok, as a 35-year old mother of 5 to get cramps in her biceps from holding her cell phone to her ear for 12 minutes. That would not break any type of record in any type of country. It is quite simply pathetic and makes me want to go outside and start cross training. Right now. 

Cramps: Sign that an Olympic athlete is pushing his body to the limits, also a sign that a mother's body has limits akin to a ninety-year old woman.

Context is King.

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