Tugging heartstrings on Mt. Olympus.

The exceedingly fine photo of Michael Phelps had me thinking (yes, you naughty minded beast, thinking!) about the Olympic stories.  You know the ones I mean.  The athlete against impossible odds; the hometown hero; the come-from-behind kid; etc.  America loves an underdog.  It’s obvious from so many of our stories, even the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves. 

But I’m curious about the other countries.  How do they tell their Olympic stories?  Anybody out there from another culture who can share?  What tropes and canons and cliches do your newscasters use to provide context and human interest for these great games?

And on a different note, are any of your athletes as fine as Phelps?  Post a link here.  I swear I’m not usually a sucker for man-meat.  But add talent and ambition and heart to the ripplings abs…  Oh yeah, I’m there.

P.S.  Is that a little Olympic tattoo on his hipbone?  Swoon!  I predict a measurable uptick in merman stories.


4 thoughts on “Tugging heartstrings on Mt. Olympus.

  1. I can’t comment on canons and other cliches, but NBC just did a featurette on Mr. Phelps and revealed that he’s horribly disfigured. Gasp! At 6’4″ his legs are the length of a man only 6’0″ (short and sturdy, the better for pushing off at the start and during turns) and his torso is the length of a man who’s 6’8″. Those windmill arms and dinner plate-sized hands push a lot of water, and with those size 14 feet? Might as well be wearing swim flippers. But we like our heroes a little flawed, don’t we? Even the statue of David, under scientific scrutiny (uh-huh, right) revealed Michaelangelo’s model was cross-eyed.

    If that speedo slips any lower, we’ll all see Michael’s kibbles and bits as well as the Olympic tatt. 😉

  2. Knowing poor Mr. Phelps has persevered despite such shortcomings is an inspiration to funny-looking people like myself. Thank you, Shirley, for the uplifting message.


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