Remo Williams and Why Los Olímpicos Can Grow Your Brain.


Once every 4 years, the ageless Bob Costas shows up in my living room for three hours every night for a few weeks. It’s OK – he’s cool.


Is it me or has this guy not aged in 20 years? Seriously… The Housewives of Orange County spend the equivalent of Uzbekistan’s GNP on plastic surgery… and end up appearing older. Meanwhile, Bob Costas hasn’t aged since 1986.


Is his house one giant hyperbaric chamber? Now that I think about it…. Costas is a wee little guy, so that is quite feasible….


Costas and his wife en la cocina.



Anyway, the point is I’ve been following Los Olímpicos. BC takes care of me in prime time and I get my secondary Spanish-spin via CNN Mexico.


Reading about Los Olímpicos en Español is interesting because you come across words and phrases that can grow your brain. You don’t see these Spanish terms often. Here are a few of my favorites along with plenty of Spanish Twins that make reading along en Español pretty easy.



LAS MEDALLAS (may-DY-yahs) The Medals



ORO (OH-roh)

Think vowel-centric with ORO’s periodic table identifier :: AU…ORO 




Think of resort destination Puerto PLATA in the Dominican Republic.




Spanish Twin. Easy.




REMO (RAY-moh) Rowing

For some unknown reason, the 1985 flic Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward really resonated with me. Actually I do know. It’s that one part where Remo runs across wet concrete like a Green Basilisk Lizard, skipping across the wet surface. When the bad guy follows him, he sinks like a stone (The GC should really examine the specs here… Is 8’ of concrete necessary for a sidewalk? I know, I know… the “suspension of disbelief” and all that, but let’s apply a few Lean Principles to construction in the movies, eh?) and gets Jimmy Hoffa-ized. To a 7-year-old, this is brilliant stuff.


No es un lagarto verde.



Anyway, now that I learned REMO means Rowing (Remista = Rower), I am forced to pay my graphic designer a princely sum to photoshop Remo Williams and his sensei, Chiun, into a coxless pair shell.





CLAVADISTAS (klah-bah-DEE-stahs) Divers

A pair of Mexican kids won PLATA in the diving event where they try to match the exact movements of the other. (While I understand this is challenging, I’m not sure why it’s an event. What kind of messages are we sending to the youth of the world…. Just do exactly what the kid next to you is doing. Exactly…. the… same…)


So there was a lot of chatter about the CLAVADISTAS on CNN MX. Being in construction, I found this interesting. A CLAVO (KLAH-boh) is a nail. And this makes sense. You get a good score in diving, in part, by entering the water as straight as a Nail.


To remember CLAVO, think of what you do with it – you “CLOBBER” it.







LONDRES (LOHN-drays) London

Why not simply London (LOHN-dohn)?





Who says Spanish is hard?




A direct translation for 100 meter Butterfly. MARIPOSA (mah-ree-POH-sah) is a Butterfly. It’s also a derogatory name for a male who is a tad too effeminate.



JUDOCA (hooh-DOH-kah) Judoist

Never seen this word before. It sounds like another Asian number game.






LOS JUEGOS (HWAY-gohs) The Games

As in English, Los Olímpicos is often shortened en Español and simply called LOS JUEGOS. This has been the year of LOS JUEGOS: First the cinematic version of the LOS JUEGOS de HAMBRE and now Los Olímpicos.





The name for the 3 Meter Springboard Diving event. This begs the question, what do Spanish-speakers call a Trampoline? TRAMPOLÍN


It’s a Spanish Homonym.






Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (, a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He was surprised to learn there are 205 countries involved in The Olympics. Only 50 have earned at least 1 medal.

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: