Watching the games here is different than the US-centered coverage we get back home. Today is a good example of Olympic coverage in Francophone Africa. The US vs. Greece in basketball or France vs. Croatia in handball? How about 10 minutes of basketball and 40+ minutes of handball... that was painful. I would much rather watch our all-stars play an impressive game of basketball. What is handball anyways - soccer with your hands? But we have French coverage, so France playing handball wins the day. (I did not pay attention enough to know if they won the game...)
This is played out again in a sport I care a bit more about - tennis. So there is a match pairing James Blake (US) and Roger Federer. Now I admit Federer has been in a slump in recent competitions. But I was pretty jazzed (yes, that is the right word for my state of mind) to watch him play. He is simply one of the most elegant players on the court, and I was eager to see him win - even over my fellow countryman. (This is the Olympics, I can pull for the international guy, right?) But we got scant coverage - of Roger Federer!!! Why? Because a Frenchman was playing... so instead I watched Gael Monfils and Novak Djokovic with attention, but less affection.
I am so glad to be able to watch the games, in any language, for a few hours a day. It is a luxury I did not expect to have, frankly. So I am glad to watch, to cheer, to celebrate athletic accomplishments in all manner of sports. But you need to know that our coverage back home is skewed to our American audience. It is obvious, but sometimes I think we take it for granted until we are out of our zone and see the games from another vantage point. I still contend that American basketball is more fun than handball, any day. And... I wish I could have seen Federer grace the court. But maybe tomorrow I can watch Michael Phelps claim another gold!