How to tell if you are a fanatic, not just a fan of the Summer Olympics
The Olympics mean different things to different people.
For the athletes, it is a chance for glory that comes only once every four years and a chance to achieve the pinnacle of their sport. For England, it is an opportunity to host one of the biggest spectacles in the world. For Canadians, it is an occasion to show our patriotism and our support for our Olympians. For the fans, it’s an excuse to watch TV at work for two weeks and not get in trouble.
However, is there a line between being a fan and a fanatic? How do you know when you’ve crossed over it? Here are a few signs that you’re obsessed with the Olympics.
• You plan your extracurricular activities around your favourite events. Sure, there’s nothing to eat for lunch tomorrow, but groceries can wait. Cameroon and New Zealand are facing off in a soccer qualifier, and it’s going to be a barn burner.
• Watching the Games on TV just isn’t enough. We live in a world where technology and multi-platform sports coverage are advancing every year. So, while you’re watching the swimming finals on the flat screen, you can also stream Judo on the Internet and follow tennis on your phone. Bonus points if you use all three at the same time.
• More often than not, the time difference between Canada and the host country is quite a gap. It makes following the Games a challenge, but not for you. You find it difficult to wake up and make it into work by 9 a.m., but during the Olympics you’re wide awake with a cup of coffee in your hand by 4 a.m. so you can catch the beach volleyball round-robin match between Serbia and Russia.
• Also, due to time differences, some events may be on tape delay or you have to work all day, so you’re recording it. You may find yourself unnaturally angry when a co-worker or social media spoils the results of an event before you have time to watch it. You also find yourself swearing loudly every time your Internet connection cuts out, ruining the live feed – and your life for the moment.
• You suddenly have a vested interest in a sport you’ve never watched before. Who cares if you don’t know the rules of water polo or horses scare you? If Canada’s competing, you’re cheering louder than anyone.
• You don’t mind spending four to six hours watching the Opening Ceremonies. You enjoy the spectacle, the effects and the celebrity cameos. You also tune in for the geography lesson because while you consider yourself to be a cultured individual, you’ve never heard of a least one-quarter of the countries walking in the Parade of Nations.
• Speaking of the Parade, you may consider yourself a fan girl if by the end of it, you’ve compiled a list of the top 10 hottest athletes in the Games.
• International rivals, be damned. We can all admit the Summer Games aren’t exactly Canada’s strong suit. Thus, you find yourself cheering for another country. It may be the home country of your ancestors, one you pick randomly because you like the colour of their uniforms or because they are your geographical neighbours. In any other situation, (read: hockey), cheering for the United States is frowned upon, but we all have to admit that watching Michael Phelps swim is an absolute treat, and 90 per cent of the time you can claim you cheered for the country who won.
• You can sing the first few bars of China’s national anthem, and not by choice.
• Then, when the Games are done, you’re lost. You’ve dried your eyes of the tears caused by Brian William’s “thanks for watching and good-night from London” sign off and CTV’s epic closing montage. Now what? It’s back to regular scheduled programming, which is no where near as exciting as the Games were. You’re left to wait another two years until the Winter Games in Russia and another four years until the next Summer Games in Brazil. You can only hope the time passes swiftly.