Five minutes with … Jeff Samardzija

The first week of the Olympic Games has proven more than exciting to watch–especially since the Cubs had an off day on Monday and rain out on Tuesday. So there was little else on TV for Cubs fans to watch. From the breathtaking Opening Ceremonies to the Men’s 400m free relay, I’ve been transfixed. The thought of the games being held in Chicago in 2016 has me longing for a time machine that could take me there now!

samardzija.jpgBut back to (a welcome) reality, as the Cubs sit in first place and have a big double-header today. Though the team is focused on their games, will they be watching the Olympics in their down time? I asked natural-born athlete Jeff Samardzija what events he will try to catch and what other sports we can add to the list of his innate abilities.

VL: What Olympic events do you most look forward to watching?

Jeff Samardzija: I really watch Track and Field a lot, like the 100m and 200m. They’re exciting. Probably a more odd one…when Table Tennis is on I’ll watch that. And actually Badminton is not too bad either.

VL: Which event could you compete in best, aside from baseball?

JS: Actually, probably Table Tennis. My skills are pretty good out there at Table Tennis.

VL: You must have quick reflexes.

JS: There you go.

VL: What event would you be the worst at?

JS: Diving. I don’t think that I have a slender body to slide into the splash. And…I would probably just cannonball too.

VL: Do you think baseball should remain an Olympic sport?

JS: I would say so. I think if kayaking, or something like that, is an Olympic sport, then baseball should obviously be there too–since it is one of the biggest sports in the world. The only hard part is it runs along the same time as Major League Baseball and probably a lot of the other leagues, so it’s kind of tough.

VL: If Chicago is to become the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games, what event would you like to see at Wrigley Field?

JS: Probably Handball. I’ve never seen it before, but they could play it off the ivy walls. I’d come see it.

VL: Since you can’t travel to Beijing this year, what’s the best Chinese food substitute?

JS: General Tsao’s Chicken from Golden Dragon takeout back at school at Notre Dame, it’s AMAZING!

— Jen Dedes Nowak

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