Tag Archives: Nastia Liukin

Chinese Thought Roll

-The Chinese are really cleaning up this Olympics in gold medals. As of this morning, they had the most at 45 compared to 27 for 2nd place USA.

-Of the 45 gold medals for China, 17 were from events that are purely subjective in judging (between diving and gymnastics). Only 1 came from a race (a female swimmer won the 200 meter butterfly). The overwhelming majority of the rest of the gold medals came from sports like Judo, Ping Pong, and Badmitten. The Chinese have no track and field golds, but their women have done quite well in weight lifting.

-Of the 27 US gold medals, only 2 were for purely subjective events (both Johnson and Liukin won golds in gymnastics), one other bogus sport win (equestrian), and the majority of golds come from races in swimming and track and field.

-The Bolt struck again yesterday, this time in a way that was mind blowing. Bolt shattered the field in the 200 meter sprint becoming the 1st since Carl Lewis in 84 to double in the 100 and 200. What’s more, he broke the world record set by America’s Michael Johnson in 96, a record that many people said would never be broken. He won the race by over half a second, unheard of in the 200 meter sprint, and he did it against a slight head wind. Between Phelps and Usain Bolt, this has been an unbelievable Olypiad.

-The USA is rolling in basketball, looking almost untouchable. Because of the tournament format, however, it only takes one slip up to make this “redeem team” a nightmare. The good thing about the USA’s basketball team and dominance in this year’s Olympics is the class and style with which they are winning. No more showboating swagger for us. We have been humbled by FIBA. It’s not the same as the game we play here in the US.

-On the political front, Obama is suffering the consequences of his overly measured and wishy washy answers at the Saddleback forum hosted by Rick Warren. Obama has gone from a lead of 7 points in July to a 5 point deficit now. McCain’s from-the-heart straight talk answers scored in a big way with America.

-Just to be clear, national polls are not as significant as the battleground polls which measure the most likely voters in the states that will decide the election. As of now, McCain has a growing electoral advantage, and things are not looking good for Obama. Good news for the US is bad news for the Democrats.

-If you haven’t seen the movie “The Great Debaters”, go out and rent it or buy it. What an amazing true story of hard work, dedication, and inspiration.

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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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