The 2012 Olympics: Wait, why am I watching handball again?

The 2012 Olympics: Wait, why am I watching handball again?

In the past three days, I've watched handball, boxing, badminton, cycling, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, archery, skeet shooting and Mr. Bean – all of my own volition.

The number of times I've watched any of those things in the past four years before the past three days? Zero.

Pit countries against each other and I'm in, no matter what the sport. I've even watched Olympic curling, the cold version of shuffleboard. Add in some rooting interest with U.S. competitors and I'm enthralled.

I was on the edge of my seat watching the end of the final between the U.S. and Italy in the team archery competition on Saturday. It felt like I was watching a game-clinching field goal in a Super Bowl as the final Italian arrow flew that clinched the gold for them.

I was upset when the U.S. cyclist fell behind the lead group in the women's road race on Sunday. I don't even know her name. Let's just call her America Americasen.

I was thrilled when another U.S. woman won the skeet shooting competition while tying a world record by hitting 99 of 100 targets.

These are all sports I have no interest in watching except during the Olympics. And as the Olympics continue, I'll keep watching strange sports I don't even understand all the rules of.

Do I understand why I do this? Not really. But I'll keep watching and rooting anyway. Seems like the American thing to do.

• Joe Grace is a writer and  journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. If you haven't yet, please like Going for Gusto on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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