WHYY producer Elizabeth Perez-Luna shared with me recently a confession about the 2012 Olympics: “I’m not feeling it!” Worse yet, she said, her friends aren’t excited either. Have you been excited about the lead-up to the games? Share your thoughts.
WHYY producer Elizabeth Perez-Luna shared with me recently a confession about the 2012 Olympics: “I’m not feeling it!”
“I was thinking all we needed is a break from political bickering and bad sportsmanship and sordidity,” she said. “I thought this every-four-years ritual would be a balm for weary souls.”
But … she’s just not that into it this time around. Worse yet, she said, her friends aren’t excited either.
“I haven’t had a single riveting conversation about Olympic sports yet,” Perex-Luna said two weeks ago. “Not even an argument about who’s best, who has a chance, who’s just there to represent a small barely noticed country. No one I know has yet bought tickets to London.”
Although, she says, many are buying iPads and other devises to watch the games.
“Is the thrill gone? Is it me, is it my friends?” she wonders.
WHYY reporter Carolyn Beeler says she is still excited about the games. “It brings back warm and fuzzy memories,” she said.
Her whole family would gather to watch the competitions when she was younger. And it was only because of the cross-timezone broadcast schedules of summer sports like gymnastics and swimming that she was ever allowed to stay up late.
Mostly, Beeler says, she likes the human stories — “It’s about regular people, who wouldn’t normally have the spotlight” — and the national pride the Olympics excites. “There’s a sense of patriotism,” she said. “A sense of national pride — that doesn’t revolve around war.”
Perez-Luna is so puzzled because she, too, has been following the Olympics games for years.
“I love the games,” she said, “the pageantry, the individual and collective effort, ‘the agony of defeat,’ the elation of victory, the fashion, the pin exchange, the opening and closing ceremonies, the youthfulness, the bodies and muscles. The whole thing.”
So what’s turning her off? Maybe the big business of the Olympics is diminishing the spirit of the games. She says she was recently dismayed by the IOC’s cease-and-decist order against Olympic Gyro in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.
She says she knows she’ll be glued to her TV when the opening ceremonies air on Friday. It’s directed by Danny Boyle and is rumored to feature references to Harry Potter and Mary Poppins. How can you go wrong?
But until then, says Perez-Luna, “Pass the torch, please.”
Are you into the Olympics? How do you keep your passions lit? Or are you feeling … lacking? In the comments below, tell us about your reactions to this Summer Olympics cycle.