Category Archives: Olympics

Conventional Thoughts

  • I am just about in full swing politically now, having followed the true story of the Beijing Olympics, and now watching the Democrats in Denver.  Things will be getting interesting… for me anyway.
  • Last night, I watched old Slick Willy AKA President Clinton light up the crowd in Denver.  His speech stated that he would be supporting Obama, but I missed any details (other than that he is a Democrat) why anyone else should vote FOR Obama.  I heard exactly what I expected to hear.  “When I was president, everything was great, the country was great, the economy was great, the world loved us” etc.  What I didn’t hear was,”Obama is the best man for the job because _____________________.”  You will have to fill in the blank, because I don’t think “community organizer” or law professor is a good enough reason.
  • Biden’s speech was pretty good, but I did feel that it went from a heart warming piece into an attempt to paint John McCain as a poor choice.  Unfortunately, when Biden or any Democrat starts talking foreign affairs in a dangerous world, people start to think long and hard about who they want as commander in chief.  When he mentioned Russia/Georgia, the crowd died.  Fair or unfair, Democrats are not perceived as being strong enough to lead us in the world when there are rough times.
  • Biden’s speech didn’t connect with the crowd, certainly not the way Bill Clinton’s did.  At this point, Obama’s bounce shouldn’t be astronomical, though I assure you he will get a bounce.  John McCain should announce sometime tomorrow around 11 AM who he has selected for VP.  My dad is predicting Romney.
  • On to other stuff.  Tonight is the opening game of the season for the Hurricanes.  You will see me up at Joe Robbie…. er, Dolphin Stadium to watch the Canes get a little practice in against Charleston Southern.  If we make 10 wins this year, it will be extremely successful.  It’s sad how expectations have fallen recently.
  • It’s lobster season and I am still trying to get out.  Monday night looks really good!  Snook season starts that night too, so maybe we can grab a slot and some bugs.
  • I called the park ranger to ask how many bug we get, and when he said 60 each person I was ecstatic.  Then I realized he said “six to each person” and I was back to reality.  🙂  That was for Brian, if he is reading.
  • If you are interested in politics and especially from the point of view of a great American young man who is in living in exile from Cuba, check out Roberto Reports.  He has some good things to say and just recently started blogging.
  • Things are going to be changing up at LPC soon!  As of September 14, we will be going to 3 services on Sunday morning: 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, and 11:00 AM all in the same Pier 2 at Flagship Cinemas at the Campbell Drive exit of Florida’s Turnpike.  I will be at all three, but I will see you guys at the 8:30, right?  🙂
  • O’course I will be working this week, so I won’t get to be at the theater Sunday morning.  But, I will see you next weekend, I garooooontee!

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Olympic Closing

As I watched parts of the closing ceremony and listened to the commentators heap gooey praise on China for putting on such a great event, I thought about all the human rights violations that were covered up by the news media and reporters in order to get the coverage they wanted.  I also asked myself,”How much of this junk is real?”  Obviously it was delayed due to time zones, but how much of it was pre -taped and edited for TV?  Of the lights, fireworks, and music, am I watching a performance that was filmed live, or is this some cinematic reproduction?  NBC has shown that they are quite capable of complicity with the communist government of China, so I guess it wold not be a huge surprise to find that the closing, like the opening, was full of fakery.  Like someone said before, the fake gymnasts’ ages, the fake fans, fake fireworks, and fake singing of the cute girl cannot be where this whole thing ends.  Everything this government does is fake, and NBC needed the coverage and the money.  Bring back the games for the sake of the games without all the hype and fakery.

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Saturday Top 5: USA Moments in Olympic History

In honor of the closing of the Olympic experience in Beijing, this week’s Top 5 will include the 5 greatest US Olympic moments in the history of the Summer games.

Honorable Mention:

1992 Dream Team 1992 Barcelona, Spain – The greatest compilation of talent in the history of basketball was on showcase for the world in the Summer games of 1992. The domination was unmatched in Olympic history, and may never be matched again by any sport or in any discipline. The roster: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton.

5. Michael Johnson 1996 Atlanta, GA, USA – Johnson was one of the most dominant sprinters in Olympic history. His running style, according to many experts, was reminiscent of the great Jesse Owens. When he showed up for the 200 meter sprint, he was wearing gold Nike’s. It was electrifying. His record of 19.32 in the 200 meter stood until the Bolt broke that this by .02.

4. Bob Beamon 1968 Mexico City, Mexico – With words it’s difficult to overhype Beamon’s accomplishments in the 1968 games in Mexico City. Having failed to even qualify a jump, his third attempt would either make or break his Olympic event. What happened next inspired a book, “The Perfect Jump”. Because of approach problems, he slowed down his approach so he could make a jump that would not disqualify him. He hit the board on the nose and when he landed, history was made. His long jump record held for 23 years. The jump was so long, the official measuring device was not long enough to measure it. After the event, when the distance was announced, Beamon collapsed with his face in his hand, and had to be helped off the field.

3b. Mark Spitz 1972 Munich Germiny – It was 1972 in Munich and the mustache was very popular. Spitz dominated the field winning 7 gold medals in swimming only competing in 7 events. With preliminary races included, Spitz raced 13 races in that fortnight. More amazingly, he set 7 world records.

3a. Michael Phelps 2008 Beijing China – He did what nobody thought was possible. In 8 swimming events, he won 8 gold medals. Fell a fraction short of 8 world records, winning 7. He also needed a little help from Jason Lezak in the 4×100 in one of the most unlikely come-from-behind victories in Olympic history. He also won his 200 M Butterfly by .01 seconds, about the length of a fingernail. Phelps, by medals, is now the greatest Olympian in history, and he is not done. At 23, he is in his prime and has stated he will compete in London 2012.

2. Carl Lewis 1984 Los Angeles, CA and 1996 Atlanta, GA, USA – When people think about Lewis, many times it is the 1984 Olympics that set him apart. Arguably, this was one of the greatest moments in Olympic history, having doubled in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. But it wasn’t 1984 which stands out to me. For me, it was the 1996 Atlanta games in which an aging Lewis who almost did not qualify for the team was not even in medal position after the first two jumps nailed his third jump to win gold. It was an electric moment and it seemed that absolutely nobody expected it to happen.

1. Jesse Owens 1936 Berlin, Germany. No comments needed.

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Olympic Ruminations

  1. The USA continues to get ripped off by incompetent judges. This further demonstrates why gymnastics, while highly impressive and entertaining, is not a sport. It is an exhibition of talent, strength, and skills that is quite remarkable. Nastia Liukin performed her uneven bar routine with fewer deductible mistakes than He Kexin (Chinese winner), yet Kexin won the event. To make it worse, there was not a single judge from a country who has an Olympic gymnastics medal. And to add insult to injury, the gold medal winning Chinese did not win with a higher score. She won on with a tie score, of which the tie-breaking system, according to Bob Costas and Béla Károlyi is an arbitrary system giving even more power to fewer judges. This seems like a recipe for fraud. This is the second US girl who has fallen victim to judging “mistakes” with the Chinese benefiting in both occasions.
  2. Shawn Johnson finally won gold in Beijing. She does it on seemingly the most difficult piece of equipment. The balance beam is so difficult because many times they are landing on the beam totally blind. I don’t know how they do it. Nastia Liukin continues her run of medals (which should be two golds instead of one) with a silver as America once again goes one and two.
  3. People criticizing Usain Bolt need to back off. This 21 year-old Jamaican athlete is downright amazing and deserves to be a little exuberant. It’s amazing in several ways. First, it’s amazing that a 6’5″ sprinter can run the 100 meters so fast. They say the shorter and more compact runners have an advantage in the sprints due to the quick strides. Bolt is built like a basketball player. Second, he won the gold in the 100 meter (check out this video) after he shut his run down with 25 meters to go. He jogged the last 25 meters people! And he still won the race with total ease. There is something to be said for guys who quietly celebrate inside while maintaining a calm exterior, but come on! This kid just won a gold medal and is the fastest person known in the history of mankind. Give him a break.

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Did you see the Men’s 4×100?

I tuned in to watch some Olympic competition last night.  Michael Phelps was going for his second gold medal out of his attempted record-breaking 8 golds.  His attempt to surpass Mark Spitz record of 7 gold medals which have stood since 1972 started out well when he won the 400 meter individual medley.  Of all his 8 attempts, the 400 IM and the 4×100 relays were considered the most unlikely.

The French were highly favored to win this 4×100, and they were very arrogant.  Alain Bernard, a member of the French relay team even stated that they were going to “smash” the Americans.  Well, what happened was beautiful!  Phelps opened the relay with the first leg.  He didn’t give us the lead, but he did well.  Garrett Weber-Gale over the next 100 M put us in a good position to win, then Cullen Jones let things start slipping away in the third leg.  When Jason Lezak took the fourth leg, I felt our chances slipping.  Alain Bernard was the French anchor who has so arrogantly stated that the French would “smash” us.  He was also one of the “no weak links” French relay members who were turning in lightning fast splits for the past several months.  As they reached the turn at 50 meters, the lead was more than half a body length.  Lezak was just too far back.  I told my wife the race was over.  The commentator said that the US was trying to hold on for a silver with the Aussies pursuing.  Then with about 35 meters left, something happened.  The commentator said something to the effect of “Lezak is making a run” and I told Marcela he was just hyping it up.  Lezak really did start tightening up on the leader.  With 20 meters left, he was within one arm’s length.  “There isn’t enough left, it’s over,” I told Marcela.  5 meters left and he is moving up fast!  He draws even at the last two strokes and stretches….

UNBELIEVABLE!  How did that happen?  The French look like someone just beat them up and stole their croissants.  I don’t believe what I just saw.  Phelps is flexing and going crazy, Weber-Gale is trying to upstage Phelps flexing in front of him, everyone is hugging, and Lezak just turned in the fastest split in Olympic 4×100 history!  For me, that was the most exciting swimming event I have ever seen.  It is up there as the greatest Olympic moment I have watched.

Phelps is now 2 for 2, with only 6 more gold medals to go.

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