MEDALING

1. It’s Tuesday, August 9, 2016. It’s 91 days until the election.

2. The Olympics offer a change of pace in the dog days of summer.

Your baseball team isn’t performing up to snuff. It’s too hot to think about football. The thrashing of Trump is a long 13 weeks away.

So you get to watch these crazy – and some not-so-crazy – sports with 200-plus different countries participating. It’s in Rio, so there’s going to be some Brazilian flair, and a great soundtrack.

But tell the truth: Before this week, you hadn’t watched anyone swim a race in four years. And after this week, you won’t watch anyone swim a race again until 2020.

Swimming. Gymnastics. Volleyball. Water polo. Even table tennis. All of this stuff is a novelty to watch in a summer of reruns and Trump-induced fear.

But I guarantee that about 10 days from now, you and all the viewers will have had their fill of these sports. All the stuff you’ve learned about it might or might not be forgotten by the time they open the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo.

3. I spent a disproportionate amount of yesterday watching women’s rugby.

My 83-year-old mother, who I was visiting, wondered why we were watching this. I told her that it was for the same reason you watch a car wreck – you can’t take your eyes off it.

I’m sure there’s someone in a rugby-playing nation who understands everything that happens in a rugby match. Who will tell me that it’s not roller derby on grass. That the young women who have parts of their faces rearranged can have them restored.

The Australian women won the gold medal. They clearly beat New Zealand in the final. I wondered, however, if there had been a tie whether the medal would be decided by which team had the most broken bones.

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