Saturday, August 16, 2008

How Michael Phelps Saved The Olympics

Like most of the world, I've spent the last week watching the 2008 Summer Olympics. Not exactly of choice, mind you. I live in a house with two men and a satellite dish, so sports is something I can't avoid. But unlike many sports, the Olympics has traditionally been an event that appeals to both men and women alike. Which is why one sport in particular has me exceptionally irked.

Beach Volleyball. Or as I've personally coined it, Beach Dolly-ball.

You see, I'm trying to figure out why the official Olympic uniform for beach volleyball has to look like this:

I've seen more clothing in a Girls Gone Wild video. And I can't help but wonder if there's some sand-meets-Lycra hazard that makes it necessary for these athletes to wear as little of it as possible. Because, pardon me, but in my 46 years of watching the Olympic Games, there was always an integrity to the games. And if there were borderline sports included, they were always relegated to the wee hours of the morning when no one was watching. I've been tuning in during prime time all week long and every night at 8:00 Pacific Time, this is what I've been getting.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, "Lori, um...don't you write for Blaze? Aren't these rather prudish thoughts by someone whose next book opens with a highly explicit blow job?"

Yes, I do write for Blaze, and let me explain. It's not the sex I have a problem with. It's the sexism. Because really, I didn't have a problem with Beach Volleyball until Wednesday. That was the day that, after watching naked women for three days straight, I heard Bob Costas announce that after the commercial break, NBC was going to bring me men's beach volleyball. And you can believe I perked up in my La-Z-Boy for that.

For three long commercial minutes, I sat with baited breath, anticipating the male equivalent of this Spring Break exhibition I'd been watching all week. I would be treated to a nice set of six packs, chizeled abs, a little nipple action. And Speedos. Teeny tiny little Speedos. With bulges. I wanted bulges. To get my payback, I should be able to gauge their religion through that thin layer of Spandex. And I held a collective breath for all women across the world as the cameras tuned in and I was treated to---


That was the moment I stopped watching the Olympics. Us women had been officially robbed and I was pissed. Beach Dolly-ball had turned the 2008 Summer Olympics into a big sexist joke. And with gymnasts falling off balance beams and Swedes tossing medals and storming off podiums, this criminal act was the last straw. Frustrated and thoroughly disgusted, I picked up a book and promptly stuck my nose in it, not willing to give the Olympics another minute of my valuable time.

Until the coverage flipped back to swimming, and I peeked out over the pages for a glimpse of this:

Okay, so maybe there might be something for us gals. In fact, given the deliciousness of that upper body, I'd have to admit us women might actually be coming out ahead. After all, it was my husband who said the Dolly-ball athletes aren't stacked enough to be of interest, and Michael Phelps is...well...let's just say there's plenty of stacking going on there.

And when his team won the relay and the camera caught him standing by the pool like this, I started rooting for gold.

I mean, seriously. Roll that wet suit down another quarter inch and George isn't the only Bush in the swim cube. And honey, if that isn't a fine display of stars and stripes, I don't know what is.

So I'm back for a few more nights at least, thankful in more ways than one that Michael Phelps is part of the games, bringing equilibrium to the events and justice to the world of sports.

So tell me, how many of you are watching the Olympic Games and what are your thoughts so far?

Lori Borrill is working on her fifth Harlequin Blaze. Her next release, titled "Unleashed", will be on shelves in November, 2008. It features a San Francisco Homicide Inspector who most definitely spends much of his time sans clothing.

As it should be.


Margay said...

I think the Olympics have been amazing so far. With everything that Michael Phelps has accomplished so far, it just leaves you breathless. I fear that, after his last race, however, my interest in the games will wane. What could top this, after all?

Lori Borrill said...

I was excited to see track & field start up last night. That's one of my favorite events where, like swimming, you're sitting on your seat yelling, "go, go, go!!"

Dina said...

Thanks top Phelps, he is making these games so much more enjoyable to watch. There were also a few gymnastics guys and gals that are locals in my area. Once swimming and gymnastics are over, I just watch every now and then, those 2 are my favs.

Aideen said...

That was just too funny!
I'm not a fan of the Olympics at all but maybe I'll tune after reading your post!!
Pretty sure dh has been watching though, must quizz him on his opinion of Dollyball.


Lori Borrill said...

LOL, glad you enjoyed it. And it was on again last night! We managed to find some women's softball and badminton on a couple other channels to tide us over until the track and swimming came back. I just don't get the fascination!

Cheri2628 said...

My teenage son loves to watch beach volleyball. Big surprise, huh?

Swimming and gymnastics have been my favorites, and not just for the male bodies! Of course, male swimmers and gymnasts do have the best bodies of all of the athletes IMO!

Estella said...

Swimming, gymnastics and basketball are my favorite events at the Olympics.

Go Michael!!

Pat Cochran said...


My side aches I laughed so hard!
I am enjoying your take on the
Games! Here I thought I was backing
Michael because he is from the USA. Maybe there's more to the situation

Pat Cochran

Lori Borrill said...

Cheri, I don't doubt teenage boys around the world are tuning in for Misty and Kerri. And I'm totally okay with that--as long there's equality in the sexes. LOL!

Oh, ladies, what will we do next week when Michael's gone? I can only hope there's a track & field stud lurking that we haven't seen yet. *g*

Margaret Cloud said...

What I don't like about the olympics is when the USA has to compete in competions using judges, we almost never come out first. We make out pretty good when we are timed.

Lori Borrill said...

Margaret, my husband says the same thing. He hates the "decision" sports. They're often never fair.

I'm getting excited for track. Did anyone see the women's marathon last night? I was tired just watching it! And I think the woman who won is still running around that track as we speak. LOL!

Dina said...

OMG, that USA mens team is AWESOME!!!!! But all of the athletes are doing a great performance.

I want to get a shirt made: I'm with Team Phelps. :)

PJ said...

Lori, I'm giving you a Gold Medal for the funniest blog I've read all week!

Pat Cochran said...

I watched the marathon and found
myself totally worn from watching
the winner! I was talking to the TV set, hoping to get someone to tell
her she could stop running! She
probably ran enough to have equaled
another marathon!!

Pat Cochran

Michele L. said...

ddI am an Olympic fan through and through! I love all the events especially the water and gymnastics! Michael Phelps is absolutely amazing! What a gorgeous guy too!

Oh yes I did Lori! I watched the women's marathon and was utterly amazed as the woman kept running around and around the track! I mean, how can anyone run for that long anyway? I would drop after the first 100 feet!

Michele L.