The Olympics Are the Ultimate Reality Show

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 .

16 comments on “The Olympics Are the Ultimate Reality Show

  1. Anand
    August 9, 2012

    The opening of the Olympics, according to everyone I spoke to, found the London program started a bit slow. .

    @Al Maag, I agree with you. Opening of the Olympics wast bit slow and disappointing compared to the beijing olympics opening ceremony. But I am loving the level of competition that we are seeing in this olympics. Look's like China will again beat the US to become top gold medal winning nation.

  2. Clairvoyant
    August 9, 2012

    There will be years where the Olympic openings don't seem to be as good as a previous year. It is difficult to continue to improve the opening every time and be better than the previous ceremonies.

  3. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 9, 2012

    Hey Al — I read the Optifuse blog too and usually get a kick out of it…yes, it's refeshing to see the amateurs compete, although in many cases the pros pop up. But even the NBA guys are behaving themselves.

    I tried to like the opening becuase I am a huge fan of London and the UK, but the whole thing needed the narration because otherwise you wouldn't have the foggiest idea what was going on. (I'm not sure that makes for a great program, but that's just me…) The tech-romance segment at least covered a few more of the great British bands but yeah…where were the Kinks, the Boomtown Rats, Herman's Hermits…?

    August 9, 2012

    You have just alienated every Scottish reader on the planet (no in the Universe) by calling the tennis player Andy Murray an Englishman (heehee)

  5. Wale Bakare
    August 9, 2012

    London 2012 opening ceremonies were magnificient and spectacular especially the “secretly guided” of the lightening process of Olympics' lights. 

  6. _hm
    August 9, 2012

    I give five stars to Biritish people for their wonderful support to one and all.

  7. Cryptoman
    August 10, 2012

    At the opening ceremony, I found the entire Olympic flame scene absolutely amazing. It could not have been done more creatively in my opinion. The concept of including each country as part of the flame has such a strong and positive message.

    I also liked Rowan Atkinson's (a.k.a Mr Bean) appearance. He is a fantastic British comedian who is very famous for his work in the comedy series called “The Black Adder”.

  8. Adeniji Kayode
    August 10, 2012

    I think the reason must have been too many effects planned to be displayed coupled with so much programmes.

  9. Adeniji Kayode
    August 10, 2012


    Its really amazing to have Mr. Bean on the opening ceremony,that is one person that has put Britain in the heart of most people.

  10. Wale Bakare
    August 10, 2012

    I agree with that. I am  wondering of more technology integrative in major sports, even goal line technology has also seen a green light by the football authorities. Do we expect to see an overwhelming technologies instead of more artistics later in future?

  11. Wale Bakare
    August 10, 2012

    Olympics to every host nation an opportunity to exhibit to the world – hospitality, culture, technology etc. We have seen that in Beijing – China, now London in Great Britain. Next, Rio de janeiro 2016 games what are your expectations?

  12. SunitaT
    August 10, 2012

    I give five stars to Biritish people for their wonderful support to one and all.

    @_hm, I totally agree with you. It was amazing to see full crowd in each and every event. I am eagerly looking forward for the olympic closing ceremony function, I am sure it would be more colourful than the opening ceremony.

  13. t.alex
    August 10, 2012

    I like the flame at this Olympic too. Instead of having a big one this one they make it with smaller flames. That's cool.

  14. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 10, 2012

    Although electronics weren't involved, one of the coolest things i've ever seen is the “blade runner” prosthetics. I character in a series of novel I read was fitted with one and the stories go into great detail how versitile these are. The opening ceremenoiescouldn't have been accomplished without a lot of electronics, not to mention the security that surrounded the event. All in ll, a good event for technology too.

  15. Anand
    August 12, 2012

    All in ll, a good event for technology too.

    @Barbara, I agree with your observation. Infact couple of companies are hoping that olympics will help them spread awarness about new technology. For example Visa hopes the Olympics will help it to promote contactless payments.

  16. Imogen Lee
    April 17, 2019

    I do not quite agree with this, I am sure that the Olympic Games are a real sport and this show, but definitely not a reality show. Today, if you want to see a show, you can turn on the TV or just go to the site Las Vegas shows reviews and buy the best tickets for the next best shows. So it's up to you.

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