Let the games begin!

Last week I was asked to put together a billboard for FOXSports.com about the top 10 reasons the Olympics are “absolutely fabulous” (a play on the cult classic British TV comedy that features two over-the-top leading ladies who always seem to have a bubbly beverage in their hands.)

What do we love about the Olympics? My first snarky response: the hot bodies of the athletes (I’ve been looking at photos of them for months, one of the challenges of the job).

But I put the question to my co-workers, and we came up with a surprisingly sincere (and semi-sappy) list of why we really do love the Summer Games. Here’s the finished product, which led the FOXSports.com website Thursday:

FOXSports.com started counting down to the games in April — when they were 100 days away — with the launch of a new section of the website dedicated solely to the London Games. Kenley and I have both been assigned to the Olympic team, which means we’ve been editing a lot of stories, watching tons of videos, building photo galleries, and writing a lot of headlines about athletes seeking comebacks and redemption. (No, it does not mean that I’m writing this from London. They sent the writers and production folks, not the copy editors.)

Some might argue that the Olympics are a time when journalists tend to go overboard in search of the impossibly dramatic storylines, in an effort to get large audiences to care about obscure sports they wouldn’t normally follow. (Newsweek recently ran an interesting story about NBC’s broadcast and “The Art of Olympic Seduction.”)

And while the coverage can at times border on melodrama, storytelling when done well is always powerful and inspiring — like the athletes themselves.

Then of course there’s the high-traffic gossip and rumor mill — ever popular in the age of blogging and tweeting, but reaching a fever pitch now in what is being billed as the first “social” Olympics.

So check out FOXSports.com’s social media hub, where you can follow which athletes are getting the most buzz and what our Olympic experts (Dominique Dawes, Amy Van Dyken, Christian Laettner and Maurice Greene) have to say about the games.

Below are a few of the stories and billboards I’ve worked on so far.

Oh, and those hot bodies? We haven’t ignored them. One of our most popular photo galleries so far? Sexiest Olympians. Enjoy!

Copyright FOXSports.com. All rights reserved.

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