Monday, March 20, 2006

The Live Coverage Of The Commonwealth Games Has Me Hooked

I'm not a big sports fan, which is no surprise to anyone that knows me, but every year I look forward to Wimbledon (I only recently realised that my life-long dream of winning Wimbledon would not actually ever come true), and every four years I look forward to the Commonwealth Games and the Summer Olympics, because I love the opening ceremonies and it's so fascinating to see all these sports on TV that are usually not shown otherwise - such as shooting, diving, and weight lifting - as South Africa is really a three-sport country: cricket, rugby and soccer (with A1 and Formula 1 Grand Prix racing thrown in for good measure).

If you're a fencer, as I was for eight years, or a swimmer, or a cyclist, or into pretty much any other sport one can name, the coverage is minimal (or nonexistent in the case of fencing, weight lifting, and shooting), as is the actual support for the sports by official bodies in the country that have the money and interest in supporting them.

Rugby, cricket, and soccer.

The coverage of the Winter Olympics is also minimal, with access - this year - given only to those who can afford satellite TV, so I missed out on interesting sports such as the luge and bobsledding. My "highlights" were one-minute recap reports on TV news broadcasts.

At the moment the Commonwealth Games are being held in Melbourne and, because we have such a strong team, they've been showing as much as they can on the official broadcaster's channels, so everyone has a chance to see them. That is, of course, if you're prepared to stay up until 11pm to watch the highlights, or get up at 2am to watch the live coverage.

So you can imagine what I did this weekend. I'm paying for it now, because I didn't sleep much, but I couldn't drag myself away from the TV. At first I only watched the highlights of sports I actually like (or find fascinating), such as weight lifting and swimming, but soon I found myself watching seven-a-side rugby, because South Africa was "playing" (I put that in inverted commas because otherwise it would indicate that we did well), and couldn't believe how much fun a seven-player, "seven minute per half" rugby match could be. There was no time wasting, as there is no time in a 15-minute match, and the pace was fast and furious. I've never enjoyed rugby so much in my life (or, well, at all before).

And I just couldn't stop watching. Soon I was into the live coverage as well as the highlights. It helps knowing that you don't have to get up early the next morning, I suppose.

I did my best to avoid field hockey for two days (I hate field hockey), but then couldn't resist it any longer, and, wanting to see how our national teams were doing, even found myself watching that at one in the morning.

Track cycling. Marathon. Triathlon. Swimming. I'm addicted. To sport. It's been weird.

And we're even winning medals!


Blogger kyknoord said...

I used to be a big fan of the French Open. The coverage was usually at the same time that I was supposed to be studying for exams, but I'm sure that was just a coincidence.

Monday, March 20, 2006 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...

Of course!

Monday, March 20, 2006 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Francois Maree said...

So you're a fence sitting pro? 8 years experience?

Thursday, March 23, 2006 1:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...

There was no sitting.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Francois Maree said...

Well if you were hooked to it you must have at least walked past the fence, or sit on top of it. No?

Friday, March 24, 2006 1:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy J Watson said...


Friday, March 24, 2006 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Francois Maree said...

Ok, then I give up. I always thought fencing was boring, getting to hang around a bit. Seems like it's not the case.

Friday, March 24, 2006 3:06:00 PM  

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