Friday, August 08, 2008

The Olympics

I've read around the web where some folks have expressed a lack of excitement over the Olympics for various reasons. I can understand that, as I've fallen off watching the Games myself over the last few cycles. A big tipping point for me was when professional athletes were allowed to participate. Watching a selection of NBA players competing in basketball seems about as far from the Olympic ideals as it is possible to get. Nonetheless, for a number of sports, the Olympics is the Big Show. This is true of many shooting disciplines. Go to Camp Perry for the National Matches or to the Grand American and, well, good for you, it's an accomplishment. Place in the President's Hundred or make the Palma Team and you've got bragging rights. Become a National Champion in a given discipline, then ditto and then some. However, qualify for the Olympics and you've entered a darned exclusive club. Olympic shooting is incredibly competitive and very demanding- the qualifying process is a killer. Big matches where you have to fire a lot of rounds and wait a long time between relays not only require concentration and ability, but endurance and then concentration on demand again and again over the course of several long days. That sort of shooting presents an entirely different level of challenge from an afternoon or morning's match.

In any event, I have family reasons to watch the games. I'll be paying particular attention this year because this young sportsman:

Has grown up to become this young man and Olympic skeet competitor. He's an amateur who's shot his way into and through college and from there on to the Olympic Team with lots of parental support.

Here's wishing Sean and the rest of the US Team the best of luck!

No comments: