Archive for the ‘watching (tv+movies)’ Category

Congratulations to Shawn Johnson for winning gold on the balance beam. While she may not be as graceful on the beam as Nastia, her routine was rock solid and athletic. Truth be told, I was getting sick of Nastia winning everything, anyway. Shawn deserved her chance to shine, and yesterday’s event final was it.

Shawn, you’ve done Hy-Vee proud.

And now that swimming and gymnastics are over, I can finally start getting to bed earlier.

(images via New York Times)


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Since Michael Phelps won his first gold at these Olympics, I’ve been curious about the material and weight of the medals. Are they solid? Plated? How much are they each worth?

I found many of the answers to my questions here (via Pret a Voyager). I had no idea that the reverse side of the Beijing Olympic medals are inlaid with jade. Did you?

The medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness. On their obverse side, the medals adopt the standard design prescribed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — a drawing that represents the winged goddess of victory Nike and Panathinaikos Arena, while on their reverse side, the medals are inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centerpiece.

Noble and elegant, the medals are a blending of traditional Chinese culture and the Olympism. It gives the winners of the Games great honor and acclamation as recognition of their achievement.

The IOC has strict stipulation on the Olympic medals’ material, identification, weight, size and drawing. The medals for the champion and the runner-up are made of pure silver, and the champion’s medal must be plated with gold weighing not less than six grams each. For the first time jade is used for the Olympic medals. The design not only meets the IOC requirements, but also expresses praise and honor that the Chinese people cherish for the Olympic Spirit and the Olympic athletes.

(image source)

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Another night of marathon Olympics-watching, only this time I peeled myself off my couch and went over to my friend Eric’s house to watch with him. The poor boy has chicken pox! Can you imagine being in your 30s and having the pox? I hear they are way more uncomfortable when you have them as an adult. I was in pre-school when I had them, and I remember my mom letting me play “Connect the Spots” with calamine lotion. I think she stuck my younger sister in the same room as me with hopes that she’d come down with them too. You know, to get ’em out the way when she was little.

So Michael Phelps, who won two more races today, has now earned more gold medals than any other Olympian ever–11. And the women’s gymnastics team had to settle for silver after team captain Alicia Sacramone fell off the balance beam and stumbled through her floor routine. It’s not really fair to blame one person for a team’s loss, but in this case… You could see on Alicia’s face how disappointed she was with herself.

And what about those Chinese gymnasts? I find it really hard to believe that all of them meet the age requirement of 16-years-old…

(image via flickr)

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Wexford Girl asks the question that’s on everybody’s mind: How do the female Olympic swimmers fit their boobs into swimsuits that are cut so narrow across the chest?

And I would like to know: Do they realize that their swimsuits make them look like they have back fat?

(image via Wexford Girl)

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Same scenario, different night: Me, planted on my couch, watching hours of Olympic coverage, including women’s gymnastics. It’s addicting.

I grew up doing gymnastics, going to classes weekly for years and years. I never amounted to much, though, because I had too much fear. You need to be fearless to fly through the air.

Anyway, I was excited to finally watch that girl from the Hy-Vee commercial, Shawn Johnson, in action.

But I have a couple of questions:

1. Does anybody understand the new scoring system? What happened to achieving a perfect 10?

2. When did the vault change from a simple horse to something somewhat elliptical? It’s seems like gymnasts have an advantage over past vaulters because they have more surface area on which to put their hands. 

3. Is USA captain Alicia Sacramone the love-child of Kristen Cavallari and Jessica Simpson? (That’s her all the way on the right.)

(image via New York Times)

4. Can you imagine being a 33-year-old on a team with girls half your age like the gymnast from Germany? These are her 5th Olympics!

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olympic fever

(image via New York Times)

Have you been watching the Olympics? When I returned from SF on Friday, I thought I had missed the opening ceremony because of the time difference between here and Beijing. I didn’t realize that NBC was going to air it pre-recorded in primetime. Although my plan was to go to sleep early because I barely slept the night before, I stayed up to watch the entire thing.  It was mesmerizing. 15,000 individual performers. Impeccable synchronization. Lavish costumes. The technology, the fireworks, the pride. 

Then the countries began to make their way into the stadium. What a great exercise in geography. It’s amazing that there were delegates representing countries that could fit inside the 91,000-seat Bird’s Nest with thousands of seats to spare.

(image via New York Times)

And the outfits! To be honest, I was disappointed with Ralph Lauren’s look for Team USA. They would’ve looked much better in one of these outfits designed by the contestants of Project Runway

(image via Bravo)

But my absolute favorite moment of the evening? Watching the 9-year-old who rescued two of his schoolmates after the earthquake in China walk in with Yao Ming and then stay by his side for the rest of the night. He said that he went back to save his classmates because he was a hall monitor, and it was his job to help. What a sweet little boy. 

(image via Sports Illustrated)

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Last night, while working on a craft project from my couch, I watched Definitely, Maybe, a movie J would not have agreed to Netflix if he were home. I remember hearing that it could be Ryan Renolds’s breakout role as a leading man, and I agree. He was absolutely charming in this romantic comedy — funny, emotional, easy on the eyes. I thought the story was well-written; normally you can tell within the first 20 minutes how a romantic comedy is going to end, but this one twisted and turned until the very last scene.

Plus, it stars Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher, two actress I admire for their beauty and their talent, and the adorable Abigail Breslin. In one of the bonus features on the DVD, Derek Luke, who plays a friend to Ryan’s character, confessed that wanted to do the film because he heard that Abigail had a role — even though they don’t share a single scene together. That’s how much he loved her in Little Miss Sunshine.

I loved the rapport between Ryan (Will) and Abigail (Maya) as father and daughter:

Maya Hayes: I’m guessing you weren’t her first boyfriend. Maybe it was some nerdy guy, or maybe he was mean. Or maybe, you were friends for the longest time, and then just when you were about to put your penis in somebody else’s vagina…
Will Hayes: Okay. Good night Maya.
Maya Hayes: …you realized Mom was the only one for you!
Will Hayes: Bedtime!

(quote from imdb.com)

(image source)

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