Day 14 of the Beijing Olympics, 23 Aug in China (22 in N. America) brought more fantastic feats of the world's best athletes.
Speaking feat, the Jamaican men not only win gold, but set a new world record for the 4x100m relay, breaking the previous world record set by the Americans 15 years ago. The American favorites and the British, who won the gold in Athens, had been disqualified in the heats. The Americans dropped the baton while Britain passed the baton outside the hand off box. Thus, Jamaica had no competition in winning the gold, while Trinidad and Tobago wins silver, Japan, the bronze.
A lot has been said about the International Olympic Committee chairman saying how he didn't think Usain Bolt's running around celebrating was sportsmanlike. But I don't see what the big problem is. He deserves to celebrate his accomplishment. And it's not like he's putting anyone down or making disparaging remarks about other athletes. He's just showing his joy at his wins. Just because he expresses his joy in a different way compared to what the IOC chairman likes doesn't mean it's bad sportsmanship. Besides, the IOC is full of crap and double standards. They pander to the host countries and have a serious history of taking bribes. If the IOC wants to be taken seriously, they need to get their act together and start making fair and hard choices, regardless of which country is hosting the Olympics.
Anyway, back on track. The shock of the night, had to be the Jamaican women, who had a clear shot at winning the gold with the American women disqualified for dropping the baton in the 4x100m relay. But France, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine also were disqualified in the heats, leaving no other serious threats to Jamaica's gold quest. And when it came to the showdown, the Jamaicans were leading by a large margin when they dropped the baton! Even worse, Jamaica's clumsy baton hand off interfered with Great Britain, who were then unable to complete their baton hand off! And with that, both top teams are out of the race! Russia, Belgium, and Nigeria skip their way to win gold, silver, bronze.
While the American men swept the 400m individual race, overall, it's been more failures than success on the track. Now, it's up to the American men and women left in the 4x400m relays to salvage America's track and field reputation.
Aussie Hooker jumps pole for gold!
Australian Steve Hooker wins the pole vault and sets a new Olympic record of 5.96m. Russia's Evgeny Lukyanenko wins silver. Ukraine's Denys Yurchenko injured himself, and was laying on the sidelines, groaning and moaning, unable to compete further; but his jump had earned him a bronze.
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia wins the women's 5,000m gold.
Madonna and Angelia Jolie immediately try to adopt her.
I kid! I kid! With this win, she adds another gold to her 10,000m gold win from last week. Elvan Abeylegesse, another Ethiopian but married a Turkish man and representing Turkey, came in second. The bronze winner, Meseret Defar, is another Ethiopian.
My favorite Olympic feat of the day has to be Brian Clay's performance in the decathlon. Brian Clay wins the decathlon, and becomes the best all around athlete in track and field. If there is one sport that defines the greatest athlete at the Olympics, the decathlon would be that sport. In two days, the events consist of a 100-meters sprint, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meters race, 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500-meters run. And through the pouring rain and the alternating heat waves, an exhausted Brian Clay finished the 1500m race, his least favorite event, second to the last. But he had all ready won the gold with such a commanding lead in the other events. While other athletes jumped up and ran around the track to celebrate victories, Brian Clay, like all decathletes, was just too exhausted to do any of those things. Instead, he was congratulated by his peers, then walked over to kiss his wife.
That's right, ya tall bitches! I won!
Born in Texas but raised in Hawaii, Brian Clay was the product of a broken home. He grew up listening to his parents fighting. Eventually, his mother got a divorce and restraining order against his father. His mother needed food stamps for them to survive. Still, he remembers his father secretly visiting him and his younger brother at grade school, talking to them through a chain linked fence. He recalls mostly bad memories of his childhood. As he got older, he was involved in drugs, gangs, and vandalism. But it was in track and field in high school that he found direction and an outlet for his turbulent emotions. By the time he left Hawaii for a sports scholarship to California, he had the makings of a champion. He won silver in Athens, surprising a lot of people in the sport. He's established a foundation to offer scholarships to academic and athletic pursuits as well as equipment for school sports. He wants to provide talented youth an opportunity for success that they may not have due to economic or geographical barriers. It's such a great story of how one can overcome hardship and with hard work, can achieve great things. And in Beijing, he achieves his goal and his gold.