The 2008 Olympics are coming. From Beijing or Peking or whatever you want to call it. China. And Sweden is starting to get a bit excited for it. Previews are dominating the printing presses, commercials are encouraging Sweden to go for gold (as opposed to silver or bronze which is nice to see from the Swedes), and blue and yellow is dominating, well… everything.
And I love it. The Swedish women’s soccer team might not feel the same way. They lost yesterday to the home nation in the group play of Olympic soccer. Technically the games don’t open until Friday. But even the Olympic committee realizes that group play in soccer isn’t exactly as riveting as, say, fencing and has scheduled the soccer games outside of the official Olympic opening. Or maybe there just isn’t time. But I like my reasoning better.
Maybe starting a couple of days early threw off the Swedes, who lost 2-1 to China. Now granted China has that home field advantage which has been shown to play a huge role in the overall Olympic medal count. Considering the air pollution and god only knows what the government has been feeding the Chinese athletes that advantage could be even more pronounced. But come on. Sweden is ranked third in the world. They are routinely named as medal contenders.
And they lost. I think I mentioned that. Obviously this is a bit of a crisis. Because after the poor showing by the men in Euro 2008, everyone was hoping the women could make some noise in the Olympics. Because to be honest, it isn’t looking that promising for the Swedes in the Olympics this year. Sure there are a few athletes who will be competing for medals, but in years past the Swedes have at least made a dent in the medal count considering their population of nine million isn’t much. But we’ll see. That’s why they play the games. Any given Sunday. All that cliché nonsense that tends to hold true in sports.
All I know is that despite the less than promising start for the Swedes, I plan to watch as much of the Olympics as I can. I have the advantage of being able to cheer for either the Americans or the Swedes without too much of a bad conscience. Of course the Americans lost to Norway in their opening game. Maybe I’ll just try to figure out what the catch is for this new Comviq thing that tells me I can sms (that’s Swedish for text) them and watch the Olympics on my phone for free.
I’m just excited to have a reason to write about sports for the next couple of weeks without it seeming overbearing. So welcome back to Welcome to Sweden.
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