Pin It

Don't Tape Me, Bro 

click to enlarge Gabby Douglass goes for gold in real time.
  • Gabby Douglass goes for gold in real time.
It hardly seems sporting to pile on NBC’s Olympics coverage this late in the match, but we had an experience last weekend watching the men’s 10,000-meter race live that was unlike anything we’ve felt so far this Olympics. 

Nerves. The pin-prickling anxieties of watching something happen as it happens.

We have seen a number of incredible, history-making performances at these games. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Gabby Douglass’ all-around gymnastics title.
  • Andy Murray’s historic dismantling of Roger Federer to win tennis gold for Great Britain.
  • Usain Bolt’s amazing final five seconds to surge from fifth place and repeat as 100-meter men’s sprinting champion.
  • Michael Phelps’ three-peat in the 200-meter individual medley
  • Phelps’ three-peat in the 100-meter butterfly
  • Phelps’ crowning as the most-decorated Olympian ever after swimming the butterfly leg of the men’s 4x100-meter individual medley.

These are all amazing storylines that occurred in big-rating sports, and so each was shown on NBC in primetime. (Here on the West Coast, that means events sometimes aired eight hours after they took place in London.)

Watching them all, though — even ones that we’d avoided having spoiled for us by Twitter or news reports or NBC’s own coverage — we never experienced that familiar crackle of electricity you get watching live sport.

The Men’s 10,000-meter, live just after 1 pm last Saturday, though. Damn.

In the 25th and final lap, Britain’s Mo Farah emerged from a tight pack to get about a half-second on Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele. The eye naturally trained on these two until, in the final turn, a pale figure wearing a bright red singlet charged past Bekele to snatch silver by two long strides. Galen Rupp, of Eugene, Ore., had won the U.S.’s first medal in the event since 1964.

The moment was electric and unscripted and, as we were watching it, no one in the world yet knew how it would play out. That’s the difference.

The whole rest of the games — aired in primetime, narrated in future-continual tense (“you are about to see…”) — has felt like watching a billion-dollar SportsCenter. Seeing Farah and Rupp take it in the final turn felt like history in the making.

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Multimedia Composer
  • Multimedia Composer

    "Force of Attraction" reflects Larry Ellingson's fascination with light, sound and making art with unusual stuff
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • The Closer
  • The Closer

    Distilled: Crying in our beers
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A great read, a helpful comic and fresh hops abound
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Archie Bray Resident Show

Archie Bray Resident Show @ Kolva-Sullivan Gallery

Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through Oct. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Luke Baumgarten

  • Chasing Whales
  • Chasing Whales

    Let's focus less on courting big companies and focus more on nurturing big ideas
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Completely Repellent
  • Completely Repellent

    How can we expect people to find constructive uses for space that wasn't built for them?
    • Dec 30, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Sasquatch Man

    A man in Chewelah says he can communicate with Sasquatches and aliens, and also find water in the ground
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Image Conscious

    The Civic opens its season with the unfettered "glitz and glam" of a con man's story
    • Sep 16, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food



for your consideration



© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation