The last couple of Summer Olympics really didn't do anything for me. I was conscious that they were going on, but my whole attitude could be summed in in the single word, "Meh."
While I am not exactly sure of the exact reason for my disillusionment, but I have the feeling that a great deal of it involves the commercialized egos that have sprung up.
And I'm not talking about the athletes -- although that idiot who wore the gold running shoes when every other Olympian was wearing standard colours shows that individual arrogance and egotism is alive and well -- but rather I am speaking of the Olympiad as a whole.
The Olympics are about amateur athletes going "Faster, Higher, Stronger" -- supposedly -- but to me everything around the Olympics has become another NBA or NFL or MLB revenue machine where sportsmanship and honour are sacrificed on the altar of the Almighty Dollar in favour of the money-generating Bad Boy attitudes and antics.
Only with funny accents.
And that's really a shame, because I have always enjoyed the Olympics.
The Beijing Games, though, have reignited my interest.
For the first time I was given the opportunity to watch the fencing team work their hearts out -- and I cheered as the American team swept Bronze, Silver and Gold in Women's sabre.
Watching tiny Montenegro's scrappy Men's Water Polo team force powerhouse Hungary into a 10 - 10 draw was as exciting and nail-biting a contest as I have ever seen; and while the USA Women's Beach Volleyball team is going through opponents like they're not even there -- they are doing it with style and they are gracious in victory.
And I shrieked loudly enough to set the dogs howling as the American swim team served the trash-talking French a heaping helping of crow in the 4X100 relay. (There may have been some popcorn tossed at the TeeVee set, too.)
It is good to enjoy the Olympics again.