Polar Bear on the Loose

Chronicles of a polar bear's life in society.

Email: mercuryranch AT yahoo.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Olympic Women's Marathon

I'm a few days late in commenting about this, but I watched the last half of the Olympic Women's Marathon the other day. That may not sound like an exciting thing, but, like the Olympic Women's Triathalon today, it was an exciting race.

In the marathon, the Japanese and British runner were in the lead from the beginning. Approximately 23 miles into the race, the British runner just stopped. She'd given all she had to give. A real heartbreaker. At the 25 km mark, the Japanese runner had made her move, and she comfortably took a lead and wasn't really challenged again--she ran a beautiful race and made it look effortless until the very end. But the real excitment came as the American runner worked her way up from 18th, to 11th, to 8th, to 6th, to 4th, to 3rd place (or something similar to that). She ran her own race. She ran steadily, and she finished with a Bronze medal.

Today, in the triathalon, Australia and the United States held the first four places nearly throughout the entire race. Then, near the end, the Austrian runner appeared, seemingly form nowhere to take the Gold. Another exciting race. And the US Bronze medal winner, instead of grousing because she'd been in contention to maybe earn a Gold, was smiling during the award ceremony and looked happy with what she'd earned.

Two races which turned out to be very exciting to watch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Olympics Observations

I haven't found basketball on the villa satellite programming. There's something daunting about 900 satellite channels when you're looking for one type of program. 900 channels becomes very "needle in a haystack" like. I've found no English programming carrying the Olympics, but German and something that sounds like French are broadcasting consistently.

Fencing is on right now. I confess a certain lack of interest in this sport. Water polo is interesting. I think I might have something to offer in that arena. I wonder if my native Canada would be interested in my services?

There's another sport that has completely baffled me--handball. Where I come from, handball is played by two to four people on a racquetball or squash court with a small, hard, rubber ball and gloves. In the Olympics, it's played on what looks like a basketball-sized court with field hockey like goals and a team of people and what looks like a 2/3 size volleyball or soccer ball. It's very strange. Since I'm surrounded by military officers, they have commented that it looks like a game they play in their professional military education courses called flickerball.

The swimming events have been fascinating. The women's basketball, softball, and soccer teams have been doing very well. Men's gymnastics is also looking good. I could do with a bit less fencing and bit more of the other "obscure" sports.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

First Draft Finished

At last! My dictation duties have been completed. I can return to unfettered pool lounging and take refuge in the air conditioning in the heat of the day. We finished dictation on the PBOTL first draft yesterday afternoon. I coaxed Her into the pool to celebrate tonight. She liked it. She might go in again.

Of course, my desire to have my time uncompromised to watch Olympics basketball had nothing to do with the timing. Since I'm just a few time zones away from the Olympics, I may as well reap the benefits. Somewhere on the 900 satellite channels, I should be able to find Olympics basketball being broadcast.