The Greeks were onto something when they started the Olympics Games in Olympia in ancient Greece, with contests in athletics, poetry and music. The Olympics were started to honor the Greek god Zeus.
Everything was poetic and musical until the Greeks started inviting the whole world, adding a myriad of games through the years, including basketball as late as 1936.
And, as with just about any endeavor, politics and wars have been the only things to stop the Games. The Olympic movement even held its collective noses and let Germany’s Adolf Hitler strut at the 1936 Games in Nazi Berlin as war clouds gathered above Europe and eventually the entire world. World War II caused the 1940 and 1944 Olympics to be cancelled, as did World War I in 1916.
With the threat of terrorism now existing, the Games will start Friday in London with the Parade of Nations. If you can watch just one thing, make it the parade.
Men and women athletes from founding Greece and host Great Britain will lead the colorful Parade of Nations to open the Olympics, and the Games will continue for two weeks.
American athletes will be about in the middle of nations. The parade will be the last time Team USA can relax, have fun and clown around a bit.
Watch the world’s greatest athletes closely because they are not only talented in their sport but are also some of the most attractive athletes on Earth. Unlike the participants in the early Olympics, present athletes wear uniforms. If you have to know who wears the skimpiest, it’s the women beach volleyball contestants and the men swimmers.
NBC and some of its related channels will offer us more viewing hours than ever before, but, because London is five hours ahead of us, much of the television that we can see will not be live.
Bob Costas will be the star anchor for NBC (just as he has been for recent Olympics and the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing). That means that NBC affiliate WAVE-3 will rule the airwaves in Louisville for two weeks. Another NBC star will be Lexington’s Tom Hammond, who is the network’s track and field announcer. For the Winter Olympics, Hammond gets to show and talk about the beautiful sports of men’s and women’s ice skating for us.
These old eyes have enjoyed seeing, in person, the greatest athletes in the world, from Muhammad Ali on down.
Nothing will ever top the Parade of Nations when our flag enters the tunnel of the main stadium and is carried around the track by the proudest American you will ever see.