This Week In GIFs: Olympics Edition

Parents freaked out. A guy crashed into a wall. Fencers apparently failed to understand fencing. It's been an exceptional Olympiad so far, and the GIFs are here to prove it. Vote, and help us decide the best of the week.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to a very special, Olympics-only edition of THIS WEEK IN GIFs. We have seven animated GIFs for you this week; as always, the winner will be determined by public vote.

Before we get started, let's preview this week's field. Here, my GIF associates, Matt Ufford and Dan Rubenstein, find themselves in awe of Olympic heroics, and I explain to you how fencing works:


(Via Ryan Hudson)

It looks like these folks are enjoying "Be An Olympian Gymnast's Parent: The Ride" at Universal Studios. It sure looks exciting, but you should know that it's preceded by approximately 1,500 hours of driving a virtual minivan to the gym and back. If you're riding this ride under the age of 12, this means flipping through a Calvin & Hobbes anthology and getting carsick.


(Via Mike Prada)

We've all seen the ball get stuck like this many times, although I don't remember seeing a defender smacking it in there. Regardless, two things: first, I have to link to this video, because this is what I do every time a ball gets stuck between the rim and the backboard.

Second, why haven't we come up with a name for this yet? It needs its own colloquialism -- and I mean an eccentric card game-style colloquialism that doesn't make any sense, like "shooting the moon" or "the river." Some suggestions to get us started:

  • Bilking the magnate
  • Dog-sitting for Chris Gatling
  • Klobbin' it


(Via Bill Hanstock)

I already discussed this GIF at length in the video above, so I don't really have anything left but a general fencing anecdote: when I was five or six, I found a fencing sabre that my dad had lying around from college. I thought it was the coolest. "Hey Dad," I said. "You should remember where this is. If a robber ever breaks in here, you could use it to fight him."

I just remember him laughing really hard, and I didn't understand why it was funny until many years later.


(Via Brian Floyd)

We had scheduled a cycling lesson with Fabian, but after this we're going to Cancellarappointment!!! Sorry.


(Via Brian Floyd)

A while back, I read part of a book from noted anarchist Crispin Sartwell that, like most books, I did not finish. He did say something particularly interesting, though: that the State is, at this point in history, so ubiquitous that people are incapable of even imagining what life without the State would be like. That's why popular culture interprets anarchy in the form of buildings reduced to rubble, people wantonly setting fire to property, mercenaries with spiked shoulder pads, etc. Even though humanity has lived without the State for the overwhelming majority of our history, we just can't picture it, so we resort to wild, hyperbolic images.

Well, here's an image for us. These Olympic athletes are registered as independents, and march under the flag of no nation. Sure seems like a fun party to me. SMASH THE STATE Y'ALL


Matt nominated this one for inclusion. It's an interesting nomination, in that it's more an argument for the power of the GIF than anything else. If edited properly, some GIFs can fold into themselves so seamlessly that it really looks like it's going on forever.


And this one, from Dan, is the opposite: it's not about the format, but the moment. It's also a simple "this is awesome" GIF, which we honestly don't see a lot in THIS WEEK IN GIFs.

When the Braves won the World Series, the person who is doing this ridiculous thing wasn't even born yet. I am so old.


Poll Which animated GIF is superior?

  427 votes | Results