How to change the topic when someone talks about the Olympics

The Atlantic

There is not much I enjoy about the Olympics and so here are seven techniques to use to change the topic whenever someone wants to bore you shitless talking about the Olympics.

Them: “So-and-so won a bronze medal!”
You: “That’s fascinating. Did you know bronze is composed of roughly 88 percent copper and 12 percent tin? Its melting point is about 1742 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Them: “I wonder how London’s dealing with the Olympics.”
You: “That’s fascinating. More fascinating is how London dealt with World War II aerial bombardment. Working people basically forced their way into the tube stations during the Blitz, where they slept on the platforms.”

Them: “Michael Phelps is amazing. I wonder how he’s gonna do this year.”
You: “That’s fascinating. Elizabeth Phelps, the NYU neuroscientist, has shown you can defuse and even erase fearful memories just by thinking about them in very specific ways.”

Them: “Danny Boyle is directing the Olympics opening ceremony!”
You: “That’s fascinating. He also once directed a short called Alien Love Triangle, which starred ‘Kenneth Branagh, Heather Graham, and Friends‘ Courtney Cox, who plays a male alien in a female body.’ It remains unreleased.”

Them: “In the medal race, I think China’s going to come out ahead.”
You: “That’s fascinating. Speaking of heads, the actress Hedy Lamarr also designed a secret communications system for the American war effort. It relied on frequency-hopping, which is now a key foundational technology for some cell phone networks like Sprint’s.”

Them: “Peter Sagan is a big underdog in the men’s road race. Still, I hope he wins the gold.”
You: “That’s fascinating. Carl Sagan put together a golden record for the Voyager spacecraft, which is about to become the first human made object to leave our frigging solar system. He included whale songs, Beethoven, Chuck Berry, thunder, greetings in a bunch of languages, and 116 images.”

Them: “Some athletes are wearing shoes that were 3D printed by Nike!”
You: “That’s fascinating. These guys 3D printed a gun.”


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  • AnonWgtn

    Whale – you are peasant.

    The opening was brilliant, so who cares about the competitors.

  • Spiker .

    When are they? must be soon?

  • Meg

    The opening was amazing and the games will be great. Whale is just an old stick in the mud. 

  • Jman

    I thought the opening ceremony was an embarrassment. At least if I was a proud Brit I would be embarrassed. It was like the left-wing history of Britain – it started off with the evils of industrialisation destroying the pristine natural environment. There were the odes to the NHS, the union movement and woman getting the vote. Then the multi-racial family and their daughter hitching up with the black guy. In fact there were so many black people in the show you would think it was taking place in an African country. Not that I have anything against black people but how ludicrous would it have been at the Beijing Olympics if the history of China was depicted using white actors? But in modern day politically correct Britain this is whats expected I guess. How a great nation has fallen. There was next to nothing about Britains real history and great achievements – The British empire, its success in wars from the Napoleonic wars to the 2 world wars – its exporting of its culture and civilising influence around the world. Really pathetic and indicative of how shrivelled and self-loathing Britain has become of itself.

  • Mitch
  • thor42

    What gets me is that the sports being picked for the Olympics seem to be getting weirder and (IMO) nowhere near deserving of their place. I refer to kite-sailing (which will be replacing board-sailing from the next Olympics).
    Kite-sailing belongs at the X-Games, not the Olympics.
    ( As for synchronised swimming, they should have dropped that 50 years ago. ) 
    Rhythmic gymnastics should never have been added either. A bunch of girls running around with ribbons and balls.
    Oh well… at least they’ve added sevens from 2016. 
    I’m pissed off that they axed cycling’s individual pursuit though, which was one of our stronger events.   

    • Travis Poulson

      Agreed on the individual pursuit. I recall a couple of years ago they were trying to get pole dancing included, what ever happened to that idea?