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Games too good not to watch

It happens without fail every four years.

It happens without fail every four years.

There's something special about the Olympics, something so intoxicating that even though we're finally experiencing some extended sunshine, and the evening telecast from London is tape delayed, I still feel compelled to stay indoors.

Perhaps it's because the Games are a quadrennial test, a treat to be savoured because they won't come around again for quite some time. Maybe it has something to do with national pride or it could also be the fact these athletes are the best in the world at what they do, which can be appreciated even if you aren't necessarily a hardcore fan of their sport.

Whatever the reason, I find the Olympics are must-see TV.

I turn on the tube to find the Norwegian women's handball team taking on France, yet for some inexplicable reason I don't change the channel.

Instead, I sit there transfixed on a game I know absolutely nothing about, hoping the ladies from Norway can make a comeback (they fall one goal short).

The same goes when I stumble across Montenegro playing water polo against the United States. I learn from the telecast there is such a thing as a professional water polo league, and although I'm not apt to buy season tickets any time soon, I do marvel at the athleticism, and the nasty edge, of these guys.

I admit I do find myself channel surfing from time to time, but if I leave the female weightlifter from Kazakhstan, it's only to catch a glimpse of the Malaysian badminton player, that rower from Niger or to see Great Britain's hometown hero, diver Tom Daley.

It goes without saying that cheering on the Canadian contingent is job one, so I dutifully follow our athletes from the diving tank to the judo arena to the soccer pitch. It's nice to see our team has come out of the blocks well, which means we've been spared all the hand wringing that took place early in Beijing and at previous Games when the medal count didn't keep pace with expectations.

As the swimming pool gives way to the running track, it signifies this sporting spectacle has already reached its halfway point. With only another week or so of competition, and the finish line getting ever closer, thankfully there's still time to get that Olympic fix.

From beach volleyball and BMX to table tennis and trampoline, there's still much to be contested on the biggest stage in sports. Soak it in while it lasts, because it will be another 1,400 days before we see the Summer Olympics again.