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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Russia, Japan, Rio Olympics And Blogging

Since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games began, readership in this blog has dropped. Not dropped below its usual level, but rather dropped from the dizzying heights it achieved for three weeks running up to the start of the Olympics.

Russia—for whatever reason—was suddenly peppering this blog with massive amounts of hits. Some 16,000+ in three weeks.

I have no idea if it Russia suddenly allowing its populace to see things it might not normally see on-line (Both China and Russia seem to block readership to mine and other sites that are not “sanctioned”. Hey! I’ve dated my fair share of lovely Russian woman! I eat Chinese food maybe twice a week! (These are not quite my worst pick-up lines ever, sadly.)

Or perhaps Russia web bots were simply prowling the internet looking for weakness, as it tries to find ways to topple the United States by trying to damage the U.S. presidential election race with leaked Clinton e-mails.

Anyhow, the past week or less has suddenly seen a rise in this blog being accessed by someone or peoples in Brazil.

It’s not a tremendous amount of hits, but this morning I spied 31 hits on this blog over a 24-hour period, from Brazil.

I could hope that someone new in Brazil has decided stuff in here is worth looking at, or a “regular” reader has traveled to Brazil, and rather than watch boring Olympic events like Rugby or Swimming (that was sarcasm!), read 31 articles of Japan—It’s A Wonderful Rife.

Maybe it’s an Olympic athlete! That would be cool. But, of course, I really have no way of knowing. I mean, I could figure it out if I decided to trace stuff back to its source, but I only do that whenever someone decided to say something incredibly stupid and/or threatening to me here on this blog. Like Santa Claus, I have a list.

So… the past week-plus… after 16,000+ views on this blog… I have exactly ZERO from Russia.

Soviet-like suppression? Putin on the kibotz? Russia got bored? Or the six Russians who read everything I write—they are competing in the Olympics and are too busy to keep up with their required reading? Pamela Ewing dreamed the whole thing? Did this blog just jump the shark or did I finally realize that it did years ago? 

Hopefully everyone takes some time from their busy schedule to take in the Rio Olympics. While I have little patience for professional athletes and their millions of dollars in annual salary taking on those who go to school or work full-time and have to find the time to train to be an athlete, I suggest you watch an Olympic sport you’ve never thought of watching before.

I’ve been watching gymnastics since Olga Korbut in 1972, and aside from the horrible shootings,   she is all I can recall. Nadia Comăneci in 1976—they showed her all grown up at the Rio games - Wow!

I have zero gymnastic skill, and aside from the odd world championship, I only watch gymnastics every four years—but you learn… and you learn that gymnasts - male and female—are pound for pound the most athletic people on the planet. 

After taking a few years off during the doping scandals, I watched this year’s Tour du France bicycle race… and then saw the races at Rio. Horrible accident aside to the Dutch racer (I thought she broke her neck when I didn’t see her moving and her at an awful angle)… but it’s an exciting race. I do admit to getting more of thrill watching indoor bicycle speed races in the velodrome.

Rugby Seven’s? Holy crap! Short, sweet and violent! If you missed watching this sport at Rio, sorry. You missed out on a lot of skill, energy and excitement! I would watch this sport on television. Men’s and women’s.

As for Japan? Japan is doing quite well at these 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Here’s what Wikipedia shows through the end of August 11, 2016:

Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Gold Kosuke Hagino Swimming Men's 400 m individual medley August 6
 Gold Shohei Ono Judo Men's 73 kg August 8
 Gold Kenzō Shirai
Yūsuke Tanaka
Koji Yamamuro
Kōhei Uchimura
Ryōhei Katō
Gymnastics Men's artistic team all-around August 8
 Gold Kōhei Uchimura Gymnastics Men's artistic individual all-around August 10
 Gold Mashu Baker Judo Men's 90 kg August 10
 Gold Haruka Tachimoto Judo Women's 70 kg August 10
 Silver Masato Sakai Swimming Men's 200 m butterfly August 10
 Bronze Naohisa Takato Judo Men's 60 kg August 6
 Bronze Ami Kondo Judo Women's 48 kg August 6
 Bronze Misato Nakamura Judo Women's 52 kg August 7
 Bronze Masashi Ebinuma Judo Men's 66 kg August 7
 Bronze Kaori Matsumoto Judo Women's 57 kg August 8
 Bronze Takanori Nagase Judo Men's 81 kg August 9
 Bronze Hiromi Miyake Weightlifting Women's 48 kg August 6
 Bronze Daiya Seto Swimming Men's 400 m individual medley August 6
 Bronze Takuya Haneda Canoeing Men's C-1 August 9
 Bronze Kosuke Hagino
Naito Ehara
Yuki Kobori
Takeshi Matsuda
Swimming Men's 4 × 200 m freestyle relay August 9
 Bronze Natsumi Hoshi Swimming Women's 200 m butterfly August 10
 Bronze Jun Mizutani Table tennis Men's singles August 11

Pretty good haul - good enough for third-best on the planet, right now.

Oh… and if anyone is down in Rio, Brazil right now—thanks. Now go watch those Olympics.

Andrew Joseph
PS: For 20 seconds, I saw handball at these Olympics. It’s the first time I have ever seen the sport played—and I’ve been looking for this for decades! Apparently we used to play a version of it back in high-school phys ed. I stupidly used to play goal keeper while wearing glasses.

1 comment:

  1. I had a massive spike in Russian referer links earlier in the year. Google/Blogger seems to have shut down the worst culprits so it's back to normal. Your situation may be similar