Dave Barry on the 1996 Olympics
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BOB COSTAS: Good evening, and as you can tell by the sound of the Olympic
Theme Song that we play almost as much as we show Kerri Strug's historic
vault, it's time for our broadcast of The Recently Videotaped Olympic Games
Featuring Americans. We're going to start by taking you right to the
track-and-field stadium, where the men's 100-meter dash is about to get
under way, despite the fact that it actually happened 4 hrs ago.
TRACK COMMENTATOR:Bob, this promises to be an exciting race, featuring
COSTAS:And what are the obstacles that these Americans have overcome to
create a Human Interest Factor for our broadcast?
TRACK COMMENTATOR: Bob, from left to right, they have overcome psoriasis,
vertigo and a bad allergy to vinaigrette dressing.
COSTAS: We'll come back to the men's 100-meter final, but right now we're
going to replay the video of Kerri Strug, an American,overcoming her ankle
injury to make her courageous vault. (Kerri Strug vaults.)
COSTAS: What a human moment! Time for a commercial.
ANNOUNCER: We're IBM. We're a giant corporation with vast computer expertise
That's why we're in charge of keeping track of all the statistics for these,
the Olympic Games of 1953. Thank you.
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COSTAS: Now we're going to take you to women's beach volleyball, where the
sun is shining brightly despite the fact that it is now 10:37 p.m. on the
BEACH VOLLEYBALL COMMENTATOR: Thanks, Bob. This is Holly McPeak, an
American, and as you can see in this digitized, computer-enhanced,
ultra-slow-motion Beach Cam closeup shot, she has overcome cellulite.
COSTAS: I'll say. When is she going to serve?
BEACH VOLLEYBALL COMMENTATOR: She'll be serving in about 4 seconds, Bob.
COSTAS: I'm sorry, but we don't have that kind of time, because we need to
show this Heartwarming Moment. (Kerri Strug vaults.)
COSTAS: Now let's go out to the cycling competition, where I believe we
have a race involving an American.
CYCLING COMMENTATOR: That is correct, Bob. We have an American shown here
pedaling furiously in 637th place, with a solid chance to move up to 636th.
COSTAS: What obstacle has this American overcome?
CYCLING COMMENTATOR: Bob, he is overcoming one hellacious case of hemorrhoids.
COSTAS: We'll have more on that exciting cycling race, but right now we're
going to return to the Olympic track stadium for an update on the men's
TRACK COMMENTATOR: Bob, the race started about two seconds ago and should
be over in about eight more seconds. None of the Americans has fallen down.
COSTAS: We're going to break away from the men's 100-meter dash at this
point, but we will be covering it throughout the course of the evening.
Right now, however, we want you to see this moment, captured by our NBC
cameras. (Kerri Strug vaults.)
COSTAS: Now let's head out to the pool to check on the progress of the
American swimmers, all of whom have overcome asthma.
SWIMMING COMMENTATOR: Bob, here we see an American swimmer winning a race.
This happened earlier.
COSTAS: How much earlier?
SWIMMING COMMENTATOR: Twenty-four years, Bob. This is Mark Spitz.
COSTAS: Time for this commercial.
ANNOUNCER: We're the Nike Corporation. We pay famous athletes millions of
dollars to wear our shoes. Because of this, you, the public, pay absurdly
high prices for these shoes. Is that stupid, or what? Thank you.
BOM! BOM! BOM-BOM BOM BOM BOM! (Kerri Strug vaults.)
COSTAS: OK, right now there are exciting gold-medal competitions going on
in archery, shooting, rowing, kayaking, table tennis, softball, volleyball,
team handball and judo, so right now we're going to take you to beach
BEACH VOLLEYBALL COMMENTATOR: Bob, as you can see, American Holly McPeak is
COSTAS: I'll say.
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(Kerri Strug vaults.)