Five things I learned from the 2012 London Olympics

These are the first summer Olympics that have occurred during my 30’s, so now seems like a good time to assess what I’ve taken away from the London 2012 games.


1) Never, ever mess with Kazakhstan.

Podobedova’s struggles were not in vein.

Kazakhstan has won seven gold medals in 2012, with almost all of them in weightlifting and boxing.  In fact, out of their 13 medals total, 11 of them are in weightlifting, boxing, or wrestling.  This included both men’s and women’s events, which means that on a per-capita basis, Kazakhstan has more people that could whoop you than anywhere else on the planet.

If the U.S. had the same level of badassery, we would have over 220 medals in lifting weights or fightin’.

There was some controversy about the origins of the medalists, as Russia and China both complained that some of Kazakhstan’s athletes were originally from their training programs.  That seems silly, as many athletes train in other countries or change nationalities over their career.  The regulations in the Olympics are much less strict than in international soccer.

Kazakstan’s prowess at these events raises the question: Why doesn’t the UFC just recruit in Astana?


2) Olympic athletes work out more in one day than I do in a month.

This is a sobering statistic: I have spent more time thinking about exercising this week than I have actually spent exercising.  [Source: my uptime on]


3) NBC thinks we like to watch Olympians watch themselves.


This happened during a lot of interviews, the most memorable of which is the beach volleyball interview with Bob Costas. NBC had devoted five minutes of prime time coverage to an interview with Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings; we watched them watch themselves watch the flag being raised. That is five minutes more time than they spent coving the Pentathlon, which leads me to #4.


4) The Pentathlon is the coolest non-fictional sporting event, ever.

Seriously, what is it?

Leaving aside The Running Man and Hunger Games, the Pentathlon is the most awesome sport at the 2012 games, because it has five different levels of sub-awesome comprising it.  It combines fencing, riding a horse, and swimming. Then the scores give you handicap for the final component, running and shooting AT THE SAME TIME.

That’s so awesome you couldn’t make a video game out of it because it would be too unrealistic.  The Pentathlon is so amazing they may drop it from the games entirely because it is too awesome.


5) Chicago would have been an awesome host for 2016.

Chicago 2016 Proposed Logo

Really, I’m not being tongue-in-cheek here; we would have been a great host city.  We would have been a great place to visit, the city would have worked hard to shed it’s rough-and-corrupt image, and the CTA would have been modernized.

Maybe I just really wanted the CTA modernized.

About Mark

I wear a yellow hat.
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