So NBC showed quite a bit of the shotput competition last night. Interesting because I had seen the prelims the night before on late night MSNBC and could now watch the medal round during a normal hour. Again, I'm a junkie and will watch prelims to these random sports just for the heck of it even if it's 2am.
Anyways, the coolest thing about the shotput was that the competition was being held in Olympia at the site of the ancient games. I'm sure this is the only reason NBC showed it during primetime because I can imagine Dick Ebersol or Bob Costas thinking it's an interesting sport.
The environment at this ancient stadium was more like an intramural football game, not a professionally planned, extra-slick production. And that's a refreshing change from the usual things which occur in huge stadiums where the fans are so far away from the actual athletes. This relaxed atmosphere is interesting since the audience is really only ones chillin out. The athletes are obviously intensely focused.
I recall watching the Winter Olympics on CBS and the feel of the games is so different than the Summer games. Of course there are fewer sports and athletes, but it's much more of a small town feel which is enjoyable. The only time we get that sort of feel at the Summer games is when the sports are small and have a small audience. Having a small venue helps even more.
Apparently, there's talk of bringing the Summer games to more small-ish cities like Athens and that would certainly cool if it helps to bring a closer-knit, more chilled out feel to the games. If that's the case, then San Francisco would be perfect!