At the recommendation of my mom back home, I decided to watch the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Disappointingly, I did not have right cable package so I could not watch it live with them.
Instead, I had to wait until 7:30 pm (it was happening live at around 7:00 am local time in Beijing) to watch the delayed telecast on NBC. I was actually looking forward to it based on what I had heard and read from the Internet earlier today.
The telecast started off well with the spectacular performances in the Bird's Nest stadium. I was really impressed by what the Chinese had put on. By this point, the commentator had already begun to annoy me a bit with his weird, uncalled-for and out-of-place comments. But there was nothing really bad about his comments yet.
Then the time came for all the contingents to come marching in. And here is where Mr. Bob Costas started making all sorts of weird comments. I cannot remember all of them, so I have to paraphrase it.
"Of the xxx number of countries participating here, most of them will not receive a medal".
"Malaysians are rather particular about people knowing where their country is. They get upset when people don't. So let's see where the country is...."
"The president of xxx promised that the athlete who brings home a medal will be awarded a dream house... looks like he has nothing to worry about since there probably wouldn't be one."
"This nation's flag bearer was chosen through a series of text messages. She had 73% of the votes. I bet she was sitting there texting in her name all day..."
"And here are the xxx who have won more medals at the Math Olympiad..."... And many others that I can't remember. I am sure someone else will blog about this soon.
I don't think I am overly sensitive to his comments. I can definitely take a joke or too, but the inanity of his comments just puts me in an unhappy mood.
It seems that this is not the first time he has done something like this. His wikipedia entry tells of his past faux pass (if one can still call them that; they seem more like verbal crimes):
"During the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Opening Ceremonies, Costas' remarks on the China Team's possible drug use caused an uproar among the American Chinese and International communities. Thousands of dollars were raised to purchase ads in the Washington Post and Sunday New York Times, featuring an image of the head of a statue of Apollo and read: 'Costas Poisoned Olympic Spirit, Public Protests NBC'."
I will be looking forward to the closing ceremony but hopefully not with Bob Costas. I am also rather surprised with NBC's decision to put Bob Costas as one of the commentators given his less-than-impressive history with making such blunders.Tweet
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