- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.