Wednesday, August 24, 2016
And finally, after a colorful two weeks in Rio de Janeiro, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad are dust in the wind. Always fun for a fortnight every four years to crank up the Motorola and watch one freakishly athletic body after another perform one freakishly athletic feat after another. Seriously, all I have in common with most Olympians is ear size and a daily need for Spandex.
As you know, these were the first games held in South America; also the first to take place in what many would consider a developing country. Thing is, Brazil is actually a member of a group known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which are all large, rapidly developing economies and potential future superpowers, and hence aren't considered Third World.
These economically ascending nations unfortunately still harbor Third World poverty. In Rio, 22 percent of its citizens reside in favelas, or shantytowns with improvised sanitation systems and rampant disease—Zika, tuberculosis, Dengue Fever—even leprosy, stalk the 6 million favela occupants in Rio alone. Add in the extraordinarily polluted waters used for sailing, rowing and distance swimming (Glurp! Argh! I swallowed some... glochkghptawwshit!"), and you realize Rio was a hot mess from the get-go.
Nonetheless, I found myself predictably enraptured for sixteen consecutive evenings. I fell into the comfortable habit of enjoying a two-hour, NBC-ified dose of world-class awesomeness from the comfort of the cracked leather davenport.
More often than not, I'd be accompanied by my favorite summertime beverage, a frosty refresher I indelicately refer to as a "Mormosa." It's a tall tumbler filled to the brim with two-thirds seltzer and one-third orange juice, so anyone from Donny Osmond to Mitt Romney to Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the television, could sip on one of these beauties without placing at risk the planets they'd been guaranteed to govern upon death.
Now, as I watch these Games slowly recede into the rear horizon, I'm regretful that I didn't take that extra step, exert a bit more creativity into my beverage choices to enhance the Olympic experience. So many opportunities existed that I ignored in favor of the tried and true, so to make up for it, here are some ideas for Olympic-themed drinks:
The USA women's basketball team won their sixth consecutive gold medal, and their Rio performance was akin to a cat slowly removing the legs from a baby mouse (I saw my cat do that once). Winning each game by an average of 37 points, let's celebrate their dominance with what I call a "Brittany Grinder." Take a pound of any type of meat and put it in a blender. When the contents take on the consistency of a pink, gamy pudding, it's ready to throw back. Or up.
I truly wish I'd enjoyed a nice Pilsner, maybe a Stella Artois or Pilsner Urquell, for watching Usain Bolt's hella sick sprinting performances. It's my brother's favorite type of beer and I'm reminded of how much he and Usain have in common—they both wear yellow shirts and finish in well under ten seconds.
On the men's basketball side of the ledger, I watched Team USA play only once, in the final against Serbia. Outside of Kevin Durant, the North Americans played like possum breath and still won by 40 against a gaggle of slow but scrappy, scruffy Slavs. Performances like these call for an IPA—International Players Arekindofshitty.
Swimmer Katie Ledecky dominated her individual events, setting world records in each of her three finals. In the 800 meter freestyle, she won by so much that she could have finished the race, toweled off, hugged her family, bellied up to the concession stand and made it back in time to high five the just-arriving silver medalist. Let's have a large Dr. Pepper and Red Rope in honor of Katie and those hard-working food vendors at the Rio Olympiad.
Finally, I'm sure by now you're a little tired of all the Ryan Lochte drama, so here's a nice little cocktail to nurse while listening to him stammer and lament a situation that didn't have to happen. It's rather simple really. I call it a Lochtea:
Just a fifth of whiskey and a douchebag.