It seems to me that the Olympics have lost a bit of luster. The last time I remember being really excited for the Games was 1996 in Atlanta, perhaps because it was the first time I could actually follow the Olympics in an American city (I was a year old when the ’84 Games were in L.A.) But I think it had more to do with the fact that there were actually notable marquee athletes to root for. The ’96 Games had Michael Johnson and his awesome gold shoes, Carl Lewis, Kerri Strug and many others. Nowadays, I would be pressed to name more than one (Michael Phelps) athlete to watch for. I also think that 12 years ago, people were naively ignorant of doping. In the realm of modern day athletics, anytime a competitor breaks a record, people can’t help but wonder.

The only reason the 2008 Games are getting the attention they are is due to their setting. Talking heads are babbling on about China’s worthiness as a host country due to highly publicized (and sometimes exacerbated) human rights offenses. Is that really all there is to talk about?

Regardless, I just saw something that got me excited again. Nike is notorious for its cutting edge advertising and proved yet again why they stand alone atop the mountain of apparel companies. Nike’s new Olympic ad literally gave me chills and does so each time I watch it. It reminded me of why we should get excited about the Olympics: the Games are an opportunity to see the finest athletes compete on a global stage, for the world to momentarily put aside its issues and focus instead on individual courage. Of course its an ideal and a naive one at that, but it sounds pretty nice doesn’t it? For two weeks it almost works.

Check out the ad. It features The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” which works really well, particularly with choir accompaniment:

I was really looking forward to this weekend. With a trip home to the cozy confines of Charlottesville, VA on the docket, I was anticipating a few days full of nothing. I planned on catching up on sleep, eating some good food and basically just basking in the glorious laziness that generally accompanies life on the home front. As it turns out, the comfort gods had other plans.

It started with a delayed flight. Fine, it’s not like I’ve ever flown out of LaGuardia on time anyways. So what’s an hour delay? Or two. Or three. Or four. A flight that should have had me home by 10PM, careened down the runway in Cville at close to 2AM. Good times.

Home at last, all I wanted to do was to pass out and forget about the trip. Again the powers that be scoffed at my arrogance. I awoke fully nauseated at 5AM and spent the rest of the night in the john. As it turns out, the meal I put down at LaGuardia’s finest Asian establishment “Simply Asian,” had no intention of staying down. One might wonder…why on earth would I eat Asian food at an airport? Hindsight is 20/20 my friends. When the other options are McDonald’s and a crusty-ass burrito joint, chicken and broccoli begins to look like ambrosia.

Food poisoning sucks, especially when my duty for the following day was to stand in line at the DMV to renew my driver’s license. Miserable. I guess the lesson to be learned is never eat anything remotely complicated at an airport, specially anything called “Simply Asian.” More like “Simply Fucked.” I rarely use this space to indulge in my own personal rants, but I had to bitch to someone. Sorry.