Wait, There Are Summer Olympics Too?

The Winter Olympics gets a lot of screen time in the Shlabotnik household. Mrs. Shlabotnik loves figure skating, I enjoy ice hockey played on an international-sized rink, and then there’s the curling. I really like curling and there’s never as much curling on American television as when the Olympics are taking place.

…but the Summer Games?

Mrs. S enjoys gymnastics…

…Aaaaaaaand that’s about it. I’ll watch some of the Rio Olympics, but it’ll be more along the lines of “mild curiosity” than anything else.

I think my general disinterest in the Summer Games is that the events are not, for the most part, games. They’re competitions. Swim faster, jump higher, lift more, shoot better, throw farther. There’s nothing wrong with competitions, they just don’t interest me much.

…But I also don’t want to be a grumpy old man yelling at Olympic Athletes to get off my lawn, so I’ll ask all of you a question (and I’ll ask again at the end of the post):

Which Summer Olympic events are you most interested in, and why should others watch it as well?

BTW, although I’m an American, I love underdogs, so those factors are not often compatible. In other words, I will generally root for the USA but that’s not a given.  If you suggest an event based on rooting for the team from India (just pulling a country out of a hat), it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

Because this is a blog geared toward card collecting, I’ll feature several cards from my favorite Olympic sport, one that I unfortunately have to wait until 2018 to watch: Curling.

The first one is from the “Games of the XXII Olympiad” insert from the 2014 Topps Olympics and Paralympics Team and Hopefuls set.  The “game” in question is, of course, curling, and the card features Pete Fenson, someone I’ve never seen do any actual curling but I have often heard him give insight into curling televised by NBCSN.
2014 Topps Olympics Games Of The Olympics Pete Fenson
This card pretty much finishes off my interest in the 2014 Olypics set unless I run across some cheapy-cheap signatures.

I’ve also finally tracked down two cards featuring Canadian curlers who had made it into the 2014 Goodwin Champions set. Why Upper Deck would feature two Canadians is not for me to say, but they are Curling cards and I like Canada, so it’s all good.

Rachel Homan is the skip for Team Homan, whose website proclaims that they are the “#1 Ranked Women’s Curling Team in the World”, but it’s not clear what that’s based on. Team Homan did win two consecutive Scotties Tournaments Of Hearts (the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship), so that goes a long way towards establishing dominance.
2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Rachel Homan
In trying to make the card look old-timey, they managed to make Ms. Homan look older than she is (mid-20’s). It’s safe to say that she does not use this card in any of her social media profiles.

Kevin Martin is considered by many to be the greatest curler of all time.  I can’t speak to that, but he’s on this Goodwin Champions card…
2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Kevin Martin
…And he’s on this 2015 Leaf Sport Kings card I just picked up from COMC
2015 Leaf Sport Kings Kevin Martin
…which is a much nicer card and goes into detail about Martin’s accomplishments: 4-time men’s Canadian Curling champion (aka the Brier); Gold in the 2010 Olympics and medaled in another (out of three appearances); 1 world championship and two other medals (out of 4 appearances) and 15 Grand Slam titles on the World Curling Tour… So he’s good, eh?

It’s the end of the post, I’ve bored you to death with my curling cards, and it’s once again time to ask you…

Which Summer Olympic events are you most interested in, and why should others watch it as well?


8 thoughts on “Wait, There Are Summer Olympics Too?

  1. First off: You need to move to Canada.. Curling on the tv most weekends. Plus figure skating fairly often.

    As for the Olympics, anything I want to watch is coming in 2020.

  2. I love both Olympics. I can’t say why, but I have since before I was 10 years old. I will watch every Olympic event I can except soccer and boxing. I gave them both a try during London 2012 and I couldn’t get through either if them. One of the draws of the Olympics is that you get to see sports that normally don’t get on TV, and another us that you get to see athletes you normally don’t. Our TV coverage focuses pretty much solely on the USA and the Canadian teams in the big 4 sports, but there is more to the world of sports than just us. I found out recently that there was a card set issued for curling around 1992. I had no idea it existed until the complete set was posted to the Trading Card Database.

    • Definitely agree on the “sports you normally don’t see” aspect. I grew up watching Wide World Of Sports and Sports Spectacular, and I sometimes miss “the constant variety of sport” aspect to it… Not to mention the “agony of defeat” guy.

      Four years ago I watched team handball and table tennis, I’ll check both of those out if I catch them but I don’t know how much I’d seek them.

      Thanks for the heads-up on the curling set, I will most definitely make my way to the trading card DB as soon as I get time.

  3. I’ll definitely be checking out Alex Morgan and company whenever they’re playing… as we as Samurai Blue on the men’s side. Other sports I may or may not watch will be swimming and track & field.

  4. I’ll pass, thanks. I hate to sound like a cynic but I guess I am. I soured on the Olympics in 1972 when our basketball team was cheated out of their shot at gold by crooked refs. I was working at University of Houston Athletics at the time and one of our players (and my friend) Dwight Jones was on that team. RIP DJ. They won the silver but left without accepting them. They swore they’d never touch them. I guess the medals are still in the hands of the corrupt IOC.

    And then they started up with the pros playing. Pffft.

    In 1988 Roy Jones Jr losing the gold in Seoul was a joke. Jones destroyed the Korean boxer who they gave the decision. I’ll bet the video is on YouTube. It’s so bad it’s actually funny.

    Sorry, the Olympic ‘ideal’ always makes me nuts.

  5. I went back to 2012 to see what I was interested in then:

    Weightlifting: It’s such a weird sport and the people behave so strangely. It always fascinates me.

    Indoor volleyball: It’s my favorite Olympic sport to watch. So many great athletic moves, and there’s almost nothing more exciting in the Olympics than a great volleyball run.

    Field hockey: Last Olympics, I could have looked at nothing but the New Zealand field hockey team for the whole Olympics and been happy.

    Track and field: The running events I love. Colorful people and so gd talented.

    Stuff that bores the hell out of me: Cycling, beach volleyball, and the insanity of synchronized swimming. Also, Olympic TV is obsessed with diving and I don’t get it. Also, two of the more popular events at the games: basketball and soccer, don’t hold my interest.

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