Claim Your Olympic Colors and Represent
August, 2012

Wait a minute. “Salinas’ Diego Estrada finished 21st in the 10,000 meter finals at the Olympic Stadium in London.” Great, congratulations, Diego, we’re all proud of you. No, really. But it was the next line in Monday’s story that had me on the border of making a crack about Mexicans running long distances. You see, Diego represented not Los Estados Unidos, but his native Old Mexico. Yep, guy graduates from Alisal High, attends Northern Arizona University, trains in Flagstaff, and represents Mexico. Huh? Only in America, but is it legal? Sounds like we’ve been dissed again by another “well-thought-out” decision. Hey, do what you want, but did you think nobody was going to notice? Not saying, just saying.

Well, at least it was a diversion from the endless hours of Olympic Beach Volleyball. NBC wasted hours and hours of chilly coverage, only to do it all over again when the weather warmed up and the contestants were able to play without their sweatshirts. Uh, was there another reason to be watching? You had to love the female Chinese swimmer who’s faster than the men. Hey, it’s about time the little ladies showed up their sexist male chauvinist counterparts. Who says men have to be bigger, stronger, faster, hairier? It was definitely a throwback to cold war and heated controversy that made me long for the thrill of victory over godless, juiced up commies.

Upon further review, the Olympics opening ceremony was just plain ugly, overdone and dumb. We wait four years to see how the free world will answer the ChiCom’s clone warriors and we get misplaced Shakespeare, a musical romp celebrating urban filth and socialism, and fly-ins from Mary Poppins, James Bond and the Queen. Here’s the whole British Empire (what’s left of it) petitioning God to save this little old lady. I wondered if she even knows the words or if she sings to herself in the Royal Bath. Two weeks of NBC’s stupefying, last-breaking coverage made Joseph W. Heston look like a Lady Gaga concert.

Overdone Olympic ceremonies make me appreciate our simpler affairs at the Rodeo Grounds, or the People’s Steinbeck Center for Multi-Cultural Understanding, or whatever they call it now. At least we get real fireworks, pretty good music (some of it in English) and don’t have to sing God Save the Mayor. That gives me an idea. Maybe we start singing to Dennis at City Council meetings. That should make his new, prosperity-draining taxes go down easier.

As if Track and Field weren’t good enough (which they certainly are), past Olympic events included such zany competitions as Solo Synchronized Swimming. Let that sink in awhile. If you think it’s fun watching dozens of tootsies twinkling over the water, imagine watching only two feet’s worth. They also played something called Jeu de paume, which was tennis without rackets, sort of like catch. Live pigeon shooting was another brilliant idea. Leaving a messy field of bloody feathers and dead or injured birds, it pretty much missed the mark. Can you imagine? They also had Long Jump for horses (with riders, but still), Rope Climbing, Tug of War, Croquet, Club Swinging, Motor Boating and a Swimming Obstacle Course. Luckily, we’ve abandoned that silliness for more sophisticated events like Rhythmic Gymnastics (Ribbon Dancing) and Trampoline. Then, of course, there’s Curling but that’s for another season. How about we add Thumb Wrestling or Rock, Paper, Scissors?

Moving right along, a few sanity-challenged Salinas gear heads are competing in the annual Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats starting today. Best of luck to our neighbors who spend years building ridiculously powerful cars and bikes, then strap themselves in and drop the hammer. No Olympic tryouts, prelims, gold medals or fawning NBC coverage. They build businesses, send their kids to Alisal High and buy car parts on Main Street. As far as I know, none of them will be representing Mexico.