Skyline’s opinions of the olympics

Team USA by Paul Reyes

Watching the dominant performance by Team USA’s “Redeem Team,” Michael Phelps’ amazing journey in collecting eight gold medals, and Usain Bolt’s back-to-back record setting feats, spectators were in awe by the physical and mental challenges the world’s best athletes could overcome.Thousands of miles away, we Americans anxiously rooted for our favorite performers, hoping they would return home with a piece of history worn on their necks. Full of drama, heartbreak and controversy, the 2008 Beijing Olympics proved to be a ratings juggernaut. Personal stories of America’s athletes, as well as those from other countries touched our hearts and kept us tuned in on a nightly basis.

However, here at Skyline the Olympics may not have had such a big impact, where many students didn’t catch the festivities, opting for other activities to fill their day.

“I don’t watch a lot of TV.” Alexis Javier, a freshman at Skyline said. A nursing major, Javier didn’t have the time to spare as she spent much of her evenings with schoolwork. Its possible Debbie Manilla also felt the same.

“I was studying a lot.” Manilla said. She did catch the portions of Women’s Volleyball, where Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh went undefeated to defend their 2004 Gold Medal. Walsh, a Bay Area native who attended Stanford, did not have many followers here at our school. Manilla later replied that “I watched a lot more when I was younger.”

Even Library Director Tom Hewitt missed many of the festivities, opting to read the stories through the San Francisco Chronicle the following morning.

“[I] didn’t see any of the basketball, which would have been interesting,” Hewitt said.

Apparently Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade did little to attract their legions of fans here at Skyline. While entertaining the millions of star-crazed fans in China, not many students were able to catch their early morning games. A quick walk-around survey of seven individuals on campus did not produce one who had watched any of Team USA’s games in its entirety.

They sure did miss plenty, as the “Redeem Team” flexed their almighty NBA skills – many of the matches looked much like the All-Star game full of powerful dunks and crowd pleasing alley-oops, rather than games holding worldwide medal implications.With several sports aired as tape delays, and with the widespread exchange of information via the internet, many people were able to find out results of events hours before they are broadcast. That, along with Beijing being fifteen hours ahead of our time zone in Skyline, may have contributed to the low viewership here at our school.

Whether or not you did catch the game that brought you the World’s finest, your chance will return as London hosts the 2010 Winter Games. Any idea on how to get more students to watch? An unnamed source suggested the Olympics add another sport:

“Maybe they should have beer pong.”

Olympics from an out of touch chinese by Adrian Lee

Whenever I mention that I am Chinese, most people generally assume that I fit the broad stereotype of being Chinese: I’m good at Math, love rice, and grew up watching anime. However, that is not the case with me; I can barely pass math classes, hate rice to a high extreme, and can’t name a single anime character. I guess it also doesn’t help that I can’t speak a Chinese dialect, let alone read Chinese characters. Although I am Chinese by blood, I am what most people would call – “a banana,” in that I am completely out-of-touch with my culture. In fact, I don’t blame them. I personally feel like I am out-of-touch with my own culture. However, that all changed.

On August 8, I was enjoying my time with my friends when I received a phone call from my parents to go home to watch the Olympics. At first I was disappointed because I didn’t want to leave my friends. But as the Opening Ceremony began on TV, watching my parents glare at the television attentively was a first since my parents never really watched TV because they never had any leisure time since they were always working. As the ceremony progressed, I noticed a tingling inside of me, a feeling I have never felt before. While watching the countless acts that represented different aspects of Chinese history, I began to feel more connected since I knew what each act referenced to. Then when the Parade of Nations began, something odd had happened.

Usually I associate myself with America and not China because I was born in America and lived here ever since. Even when I went back to China as a means for my parents to make me more connected with my culture, I didn’t feel any “Chinese Pride.” However, during the Parade of Nations, when the US walked in, my national pride level was normal, as I didn’t feel a thing. But at the end, when Yao Ming walked in with a giant China flag and a flashy red suit, I began to feel something that I never felt before; I began to feel Chinese as my heart began to pound with excitement with a sense of pride.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had love for the US during the Olympics and cheered for them. Yet, at the same time, I was more inclined to watch the Chinese compete rather than the Americans. For instance, during the Men’s Basketball matches, I cheered for the “Redeem Team” to win it all. But, during the first match between them and China, I found myself going nuts when Ming made a three in the first quarter and flustered when Dwayne Wade slammed the ball on Ming in the following play.

But that wasn’t the only time. When China track-runner Liu Xiang dropped in agony during his first race, like other Chinese in the crowd, I felt depressed. During the Gymnastic events, I was more excited to watch the Chinese Olympians do flips in the air even if they were underage. I even developed a crush for beach volleyball player Xue Chen, regardless of her being more muscular than myself.

Regardless of not possessing “Chinese traits,” the Olympics definitely made me feel more connected to my culture. When the Olympics ended, China ended with the most gold medals, a feat that I was proud of not because it meant they dominated, but because I am Chinese.