I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently who I’m rooting for in the Olympics. As an American, of course I root for Team USA, but when Team USA doesn’t perform, as the men’s gymnastics team faltered yesterday, I can’t help but root for the “home” team, Team GB. The BBC announcers make this so easy. I don’t know if it’s the accents, the witty banter or just that it’s refreshing to not have to listen to NBC’s commentators, but I’ve really been enjoying the British coverage of the games. They have 541 athletes since they’re the host nation, but they always seem to be the underdogs. While many countries — USA and China come to mind — have a “Go for the gold! 110%!” mentality, a lot of Team GB seems just happy to compete, and set a goal of just making it to the finals. And when they do medal — like when Rebecca Adlington won bronze in the 400m freestyle — the entire country collectively pees its pants. I’m only half joking there, but I have never seen announcers and fans go so crazy over a bronze medal. Adlington won gold in Beijing and that made her hometown so happy they named their swimming pool after her. I’m not kidding.
The post-event interviews are always funny, no matter who’s doing the interviewing. Most of the athletes are exhausted and in a state of shock, in no condition to talk to anyone, but a reporter shoves a microphone in their face. I feel like the typical response is usually, “I just gave it my all, it was a really great race.” But I’ve noticed on several occasions now that British athletes apologize. They actually say “I’m sorry,” like they care more that they’ve let their countrymen down instead of accomplishing their personal goal. While I’m sure Team GB fans are disappointed when their country doesn’t win, I also think they’re just excited for the experience too. I guess that’s why it’s so easy to get caught up in the “home” team excitement — I was literally on the edge of my seat yesterday when the British men’s gymnastics team had a shot at a medal. And I was crushed when Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield came in fourth in synchronized diving, even though the US came in third. The announcer kept referring to Daley and Waterfield as “our boys” and “our lads” — how could you not root for them?
I don’t know if you could tell, but I’m going for a world record in Olympics watching. I can’t stop. I have to force myself to take breaks in order to get some work done… I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to work the other way around. I’m still battling this virus and often the only thing I want to do is veg out in front of the TV. I’ve come to the point where my nose is so red and irritated it hurts to blow, but it also hurts if I don’t blow. I tried putting moisturizer on it but I think that did more harm than good. Then I realized the perfect solution — nappy rash cream! If it’s safe for a baby’s bottom, it’s gotta be safe for my nose, right? And now my nose feels better, and I got to use the word “nappy” in a blog post, which is my dad’s favourite British word. (Fun fact: Pamper’s nappies are the official nappy of the 2012 London Games. If you’re wondering why there is an official nappy of the Olympics, I am too.)
Don’t get your nappies in a bunch, Americans. You can have patriotic bums too: