Sunday, August 12, 2012

Checking in with the Olympics: Team Handball

And so, another Olympiad is in the books.  Highlights for me of the past week were watching Japan beat China for the first time ever in Olympic women's volleyball and marveling at the Norwegian women's fast break in handball.  I was hoping to get caught up in the narrative of one of the team sports but it didn't quite happen.  I didn't watch the Olympics at all over the weekend and didn't really miss them either.  They're a lot of fun for two weeks but every four years is about right for me.

Photo via

If I were to pick a favorite sport from the affair (excepting my dear tennis, of course), I'd have to go with handball.  It just looks like so much fun!  Also, I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed the fact that Team USA wasn't involved.  The nationalism of the Olympics does occasionally make me very uncomfortable.  I believe in having a rooting interest but I also believe any true fan loves the game first and foremost.  I deliberately avoid the political stump here as much as possible but I do feel that such a gathering should be as much about celebrating other cultures as it is about pride in our own.  The world doesn't do this sort of thing very often.  We should make the most of it.

Photo via Sporting Life

I don't expect to become a year-round handball fan but I do like having a single sport to follow through the Games, with occasional glimpses of others.  That's what I did with curling for the last Winter Games and it was great.  Perhaps handball can be that sport for me in Rio.  In the meantime, congrats to all of the medalists, particularly both repeat champs: the Norwegian women and the French men.  Next time, in Brazil!

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