Is Michael Phelps the number one personal brand in the world right now? Bolt is not far behind.
The TV coverage of the Olympics has been outstanding, and we know so much about so many athletes. The double amputee runner from South Africa is such an inspiration. The two runners who came in first (from the UK) and second (from the USA) in the 10,000 meters were trained by the same person. The queens of beach volleyball were down by six in the semifinals and still won.
How could you not root for the Grenada runner who won the country's first medal in history? The USA’s Fab 5 and Gabby won it all? Wow. Gotta love the USA's gymnastic father/coach who is always going wild on the side lines, supporting his son.
The English men's tennis player Murray won it all this time, when he thought he would win Wimbledon... again compelling. Even the bad side: the China, Indonesia, and South Korea teams that got thrown out of the Games because they were trying to lose to get a better seed in badminton. Who came up with that strategy?
The opening of the Olympics, according to everyone I spoke to, found the London program started a bit slow. No one expected London to do a better job than China did four years ago, but the Industrial Revolution and healthcare are featured ... really? Sir Paul could have played more, in fact. Where were the other great music performers from England? The main highlight was the Queen and 007... clever. As usual, the teams were the highlight, walking in the stadium and lighting the Olympic flame.
But the Games have not disappointed. It's great to see the Prince and new Princess at all the events. They they make it festive and show the pride of their country. They acted like all of us fans of the Games and our teams. The stories of the athletes make the television programming so compelling. It's the ultimate reality show.
I got this idea from a superb story in a newsletter written by Jim Kalb at Optifuse. I love rooting for the people who have sacrificed so much to be there or faced adversity. It's so easy to root for your country, but really, you’re rooting for other countries and athletes at times and watching sports you would never spend much time on (like water polo).
I still wish real sports like softball and baseball were still played. Dual diving and trampoline: really? What's next: sneezing and burping?
One good thing about watching the Olympics for two weeks: I’m not watching the Cubs lose.
Well, let's hope Elton, The Who, and The Rolling Stones are featured at the end. Like I said, it's the ultimate reality show, and congratulations to the Olympic organizers and TV folks. Great job! Too bad the world doesn’t come together more often like this, instead of through reality shows like Jersey Shore.