Olympics: Scattered Heroics

Television edits ruthlessly: cameras record every leap and thrust, but only one event at a time shows up in the living room. The gymnastics just ended; the sprinters are on; next is volleyball. That serial focus is misleading, TV's accommodation to our one-track minds. For the Olympics are happening all at once and all over the place. Only the epicenter is in Los Angeles. A slick L.A. cheer infuses the whole—banners the color of coral, the velodrome's playful curves—but not even the city's flabbergasting sprawl could encompass this Olympics' venues.

There is even more to it than the exotic scatter of events....

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