What's the worst part of the Olympics? The human interest stories, of course. You know, when NBC decides that we are not here to watch sports, but a pre-recorded piece about the athletes. To learn where they come from, about their personal struggles. There is dramatic background music and everything. Oh, can we get back to the action already!
That being said, we're quite looking forward to the inevitable Anthony Ervin profile. In 2000, Ervin stunned the world by winning gold in Sydney in the 50 meter freestyle at the age of 17. A year later, he grabbed two golds at the World Championship. And then he just quit.
Ervin spent the next decade, as he says, "figuring out my life". Playing guitar, hanging out, working in a tattoo parlor. Going through a "mystic phase" — again, his own words. He auctioned off his gold medal on eBay to help tsunami victims. He tried to find himself.
Then he started to teach swimming to children, rediscovered his passion, and — voila! — made the Olympic team, 12 years after his triumph. You see, there is absolutely no way this story will get bypassed.
Will they mention that Ervin is part black, part Native American, part Jewish?
We can only hope so!
(Editor's update, August 12, 2016: Ervin missed a medal in London, but got a gold in Rio, 16 years after his triumph in Sydney.)