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Nina In New York: No More Beach Volleyball? And 9 More Closing Olympic Thoughts.

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

By Nina Pajak

Well, it's been an emotional couple of weeks, but the 2012 Olympics is finally drawing to a close. This Sunday marks the final day of competition, with such ratings-busters as Men's Bronze Metal Handball Match, Rhythmic Gymnastics, and Men's Water Polo Classification 7th-8th Place.

This Olympics has taught me a great many things, including the fact that I actually enjoy watching the Olympics. This wasn't clear to me from past years, for whatever reason, but I think I've now made direct and lasting contact with the realization and am looking forward to putting it to use again in another two years.

Here are some other things I've learned over the course of my viewing:

  1. After a seemingly infinite amount of exposure to beach volleyball in a condensed span of time, I like watching beach volleyball! This tells me that I have the potential to be a better sports fan in general. Also, that I am vulnerable to the threat of mind control. Know thy enemy, right?
  2. Nothing about horse dressage.
  3. Though it seems inevitable, I suppose not every diver is going to crack his or her skull on the platform or board every single time. Still, I'm pretty sure they're all going to crack their skulls.
  4. Water polo players aren't afraid to go for the junk grab.
  5. I'm in horrible physical condition. Just . . . just really horrible.
  6. Russia and the USA still sort of hate each other. Or at least, their teenage female gymnasts do.
  7. Legions of demi-gods + high stress situations + emotional roller coaster + weeks spent living in close quarters hundreds and thousands of miles from home + wild celebrations + the culmination and realization of years of all work and no play = lots and lots of extremely well-toned and unapologetic hanky panky. Makes sense.
  8. There is a baffling correlation between female Olympic athletes and eyebrow mangling. I first noticed this among the gymnastics girls, and saw it again in the diving competitions. Girls. Put down the tweezers, and slowly walk away. Wait 4-6 weeks for optimal regrowth, and then give my threader a call. She'll be expecting you.
  9. Upon further self-reflection, I no longer think I could have been made into an Olympian of any sort, even if my parents had sold me to the Chinese government at the age of three and allowed them to turn me into a diving robot who received little schooling and did nothing but dive all day long for fifteen years. Even then. I get it. This stuff is sort of hard.
  10. Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of time zones, and this is very upsetting. I get it. It's a hard pill to swallow. Total mind-screw. You'll be ready in 2014, I promise.

Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I'm always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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