cedunkley (cedunkley) wrote,

Some thoughts on the Olympics

First off let me start by saying Michael Phelps performance has been incredible. It's a rare thing when an athlete arrives at a venue and expects to achieve his sport's highest achievement. If you notice the icon I have for this post, Mark Messier (I'm talking hockey for those who may not know) came to the New York Rangers after winning 5 Stanley Cups in Edmonton. The Rangers were in a 50+ year championship drought. Messier came to New York to win a Stanley Cup for the franchise. The first thing he taught the Rangers was not to be afraid of voicing their goal. Two years later, in 1994 Messier lead the Rangers to that Cup. Phelps arrival at Beijing had that similar feel. He had a set goal and he achieved it, with the help of his teammates.

The American Men's swim team came to Beijing with a few missions:

*Help Michael Phelps win an unprecedented 8 Gold Medals.
*Best the Australian at the4x100 Meter Freestyle Relay.
*Not just win the gold in the 4x200-Meter Freestyle Relay but become the first team to break the 7 minute barrier.
*Keep the American dominance of the 400x100-Meter Medley Relay (which would achieve Phelps' 8th Gold.

And the Men's American team accomplished all of the above, sometimes with a performance of unbelievable dominance, and others with an amazing last moment come from behind heroics.

And then there is the women's swim team. While Women's swimming was dominated in the team swims by Australia, the America Women achieved exceptional success.

From Natalie Coughlin's record-setting 6 swimming medals to Dara Torres out-swimming so many opponents who were half her age.

And then there's the start of Track and Field.

A few things to mention:

*Tyson Gay's recent injury kept him from the medal race for the 100 Meters.
*Walter Dix rises to the occasion and captures the Bronze in the 100 Meters.
*Usain Bolt of Jamaica runs perhaps the most astonishing 100 Meter Olympic race ever, smashing his own world record even while pulling up with 15 meters to go to start celebrating his victory. Had he been interested in the world record more than the gold who knows how fast his time could have been. I've never seen a runner win a gold in the 100 meters with such ease. Walter Dix ran as fast as he could, leaving it all on the track for the bronze while Bolt looked like he was out for a casual jog. I can't even begin to fathom what Bolt will end up accomplishing as a sprinter.

And then there's Gymnastics:

The Men's Team somehow rose up and captured the Bronze Medal. The Women's Team captured the Silver. And Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson won the individual Women's All Around Gold and Silver respectively.

And then there's boxing. I've watched close to 40 matches so far and I have yet to figure out how these judges are scoring these fights for any boxer in the ring. I'm a big boxing fan and I think I've a decent eye for a scoring punch, even an Olympic scoring punch and this is the first Olympics where I watch absolutely clueless.

I'm looking forward to the remainder of these Olympics and wonder what rare unforgettable moments still await.
Tags: olympics

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