Valeria Bloom is an online art director living in Brooklyn, N.Y., who regularly forces her husband and two daughters to drive to Corona, Queens, to buy proper empanadas, milanesas, medialunas, and her favorite Argentine mayonnaise, Hellmann’s. (“The South American version has more lemon in it, and it really does taste better.”)
What’s your earliest Olympic memory?
The 1976 Montreal Summer Games, specifically Nadia Comaneci scoring a perfect 10 on the uneven bars.
How excited do you get about the Summer Games: Eager? Hyperventilating? Meh?
Which events that you particularly enjoy watching? (Or, if you don’t like the Olympics, what do you do instead in August?)
Ordinarily I don’t follow sports too closely, but I will tune into the Olympics while they’re on. Gymnastics, swimming, diving, and the equestrian sports principally.
Are there any sports you watch only during the Olympics?
All of ones I just mentioned—plus table tennis, volleyball, rhythmic gymnastics, and weightlifting. I remember being fascinated by weightlifting as a kid—all those fat Russian dudes. Oh, and badminton!
If you ran the International Olympic Committee, what sport would you add/get rid of? What rule would you change?
I’m old and set in my ways, so I never have liked the addition of “extreme” sports like BMX and snowboarding—a blatant attempt to attract younger viewers. Also, it still feels weird to allow professionals to compete in the Olympics.
What do you think of NBC’s Olympic coverage? Or do you watch the Olympics in Spanish?
Hate NBC’s coverage. There’s never any attempt to familiarize viewers with the more obscure sporting events, and it’s blatantly biased in favor of the US. (I haven’t watched in another language.)
What athletes will you be rooting for?
Not familiar with any except Michael Phelps.
Other than the United States, which countries do you cheer for?
Italy and Argentina! But usually the USA.
Overall, are the Olympics a good thing, or a waste of time and money? An instrument of peace or of nationalist zeal?
I think they’re a good thing for athletes, but any larger meaning has been lost in this age of globalization.
If you could have a ticket to one Olympic event in London, what would it be?