Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympic Moments

Today is Day 2 of the Olympics, and all ready, I've seen some great moments from Day 1.

Michael Phelps was outstanding winning that gold in the 400 meter individual medley! And he set a new world record at that, too. He's only just begun on a record quest to be the most decorated Olympian ever!

Then there is Park Tae-hwan of South Korea who wins the 400 meters freestyle. Four years ago, he was a nervous 14 year old at the Athens Olympics; his jittery nerves caused him to fall into the pool before the start, leading to his disqualification. As if being a teenager wasn't hard enough, imagine having your most embarrassing moment televised in front of millions! And from that humiliation on the world stage, this teenager has returned with a vengeance and wins the gold. Now that's an Olympic comeback legend! His winning time is second only to the record set by the Aussie torpedo, Ian Thorpe.

But my favorite Olympic moment so far has to be the men's beach volleyball game between Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers versus Latvians Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs. The Americans were the gold medal favorites. In their previous match prior to the Olympics, the Americans destroyed the Latvians in half an hour. The Americans are the world champions and are ranked number one while the Latvians are ranked 23 out of 24! Yet, in a stunning David vs Goliath showdown, the young Latvians beat the Americans in two sets! And boy, did they do a fantastic job!

Plavins and Samoilovs were the underdogs, but I rooted for them, because of their indomitable spirit! They showed the world that it wasn't the fame of the competitors nor the size of their country, but it is the skills and spirit of the athletes that wins the game! It was a very exciting and spirited game indeed!

And their win is a truly memorable Olympic moment.

*UPDATE 11 Aug 2008, 2:00 PM: Olympic Moment from Day 2, the 4 x 100meters free relay swim.

What makes this event an Olympic moment? Because the Americans were the underdogs, their team--even with Michael Phelps--was considered second rate compared to the French and the Australians. What made it even more intense, was French swimmer Alain Bernard who cockily predicted, "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."

Now, I don't have anything against the French. In fact, I luv French fries and French toast and the French horn. But when a smug Frenchman brags about destroying American athletes, it just fires me up to cheer for the Americans so much more. It was an incredible race. Right from the start the French and the Americans battled for the lead. Yet even with Michael Phelps, the French anchor, Alain Bernard, led the last leg of the relay! The Americans were second, behind by half a body length. That's a tremendous gap!

With the finish just seconds away, it would seem the French would win. The American anchor thought, "no way" could he catch up to Bernard and save Phelps' Olympic quest. Then he thought, "That's ridiculous, this is an Olympic Games. You have to go for it." And he did!

Digging deep, the American anchor swam the fastest leg in relay history, reaching the finish before Alain Bernard, and setting a new world record!

And who was this American anchor who bent the French over and gave them a sound spanking? It was none other than former University of Texas swimmer, Jason Lezak! Snooze said it best, "The only thing better than the American team winning was France losing." Ha! The trash talking French got smoked!

Truly, another magnificent Olympic moment!


  1. I hadn't heard of the Latvian upset. That is inspiring. Ditto for the Korean swimmer. But although he's not an underdog, it is indeed Michael Phelps who has my complete admiration. Such an incredible athlete.

  2. Snooze, those Latvians came out of nowhere and beat the presumed gold medal favorites! I luv underdog stories! That Michael Phelps is an amazing athlete!

  3. I forgot about Park Tae-hwan being disqualified four years earlier. I love comebacks like that! Excellent work, Tae-hwan!

    That is quite the photo of Mr. Phelps there! Happy Monday!

  4. Tara, that Park Tae-hwan win was fantastic! It's what I luv about the games, that human spirit story!

    Glad you like the foto, and Happy Monday to you, too :)

  5. It's really kool winnings. Thanks for the update!

    See. I missed the beach volleyball!


    Well that one Lativia guy Plavins is hot! My question is, what's up with the other dudes hair?

  6. omg that 4 x 100m relay was phenomenal!!!! The only thing better than the American team winning was France losing.

  7. CP, Plavins is hot because he just finished winning two sets against the Americans while the sun was out. His partner has said that he will not shave his head until their Olympic efforts are over. Samoilovs has a biblical Samson thing going, saying that every one of those hairs represent the points they've earned in the hard preliminaries just to qualify for the Beijing Olympics!

    Snooze, that was an amazing race! Those Frenchies got served!

  8. that's odd. Maybe he should throw some salt over his shoulder or not change his underwrar too?

  9. CP, he might blind someone if he throws salt over his shoulder; and I think not cutting his hair is so much more hygienic than not changing his underwear :O

  10. MJ, Jason Lezak overtook that Frenchman from behind and gave it to him good! Showed Bernard who his daddy was!

  11. I will have to live the whole Olympic excitement second hand , as I never watch any sport.
    EVER(attention span of a goldfish)

  12. Beast, there are so many (too many, some may say) events in the summer Olympics. I like the swimming, track and field, and gymnastic events. Also the beach volleyball is fantastic. Sometimes, the most exciting matches are often the ones that last less than 1/2 an hour.