Category: 2008 Beijing Olympics


That’s how fast a group of physicists have calculated Usain Bolt would have run in the recent Olympic 100-meter final had he not started celebrating and thumping his chest with 20 meters to go (he still ran 9.69, a new world record).

I don’t know about that, there are a lot of assumptions there as the article points out, but if he really would have ran 9.55 I’d bet that would surely eclipse the longevity of Bob Beamons’ 29 ft. 2.5 inch mark in the long jump which stood from 1968 to 1991.

Bottom line, whatever it is that you’re doing, people, run through the tape.… Read the rest

I’ve Got Those Post-Beijing Blues

And I’m not the only one.

I suppose its apparent after almost 70 Olympic posts over the past few weeks that I’m an unrepentant, full-bore, red, white and blue Olympic Greek Geek.

Tis the season of overwrought superlatives, but I think it’s safe to say that I enjoyed this Olympiad more than any in memory (and mine goes back aways). Maybe its the fact that I can play press corp wannabe and team up with an actual correspondent on the ground, or maybe it’s because it’s all in HD now so that you feel like you’re actually “there.”

Whatever the reason, my heart aches a little this morning.… Read the rest

So, Who Won?

The Chinese would say they did based on gold medals, 51-36.

The Americans would say they did based on total medals, 110-100.

But what if we split the difference and scored it on a weighted system, 3 for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze? Seems like a reasonable idea to me.

Final score: China 223, U.S. 220.

Wow, that’s close. And to think, we were only a couple of dropped batons and a few underaged gymnasts away from taking the whole thing.

Read the rest

The World’s Greatest Athlete Grew Up In Hawaii

“You, sir, are The World’s Greatest Athlete.”

–King Gustav V of Sweden to Jim Thorpe after he won the 1912 Olympic decathlon in Stockholm

It’s a sign of the times, I guess, when The World’s Greatest Athlete, Olympic decathlon champ Bryan Clay, takes a back seat to platform diving and beach volleyball. But I’m sure that NBC crunched the numbers and knew what they were doing when it comes to making money.

But what kind of world is it when The World’s Greatest Athlete has to practically beg to be put on the front of the Wheaties box?

A crazy, mixed-up world, that’s what it is.… Read the rest

Dress Code Violation

When historians look back on the U.S. National Basketball team’s 2008 Olympic final victory over Spain, many will point toward Kobe Bryant’s commandeering of the game after the Spanish trimmed the U.S. lead to two points early in the 4th quarter. In particular, they will cite Bryant’s timely 4-point play as the stroke that finally felled the pesky Spaniards.

They will be wrong. It was actually the point where the camera panned across the row of rowdy Spanish male fans dressed in drag. I knew at that moment that it was over.

The basketball gods will not be mocked.

Somewhere, James Naismith is smiling.… Read the rest

Pepperdine Makes A Splash In Beijing

I would be remiss as a fledgling Olympic commentator if I failed to mention the U.S. Men’s Water Polo team which has made an extraordinary run into the gold medal match Sunday against Hungary after a stunning 10-5 victory over Serbia.

I really know next-to-nothing about the sport (I’m sorry, but those little bonnets they wear are just so cute), but when a 9th-seeded team makes it to the final in any sport, it’s big news.

Hey, and how about this, albeit very loose, Church of Christ connection–the team is powered by several Pepperdine University players, including the keeper, Merrill Moses (notice the proper Biblical name), and coached by Pepperdine assistant and alumn, Terry Schroeder.Read the rest

It’s Always Something

Clipped hurdles. Lane violations and DQs. Leading in the final turn only to come up empty in the homestretch.

And the most egregious offense of all, the one that symbolizes everything that could possibly go wrong–dropped batons by both the men and the women in the 4 x 100 relay.

For the U.S. Track and Field team in this Olympiad, it’s like Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say: “It just goes to show you, it’s always something.”

U.S. Track and Field has heard the great hue and cry of the American people and responded.

Still, a little perspective is in order.… Read the rest

Deontay Update

Tuscaloosa’s Deontay Wilder fought and lost in the semifinals of the heavyweight division on Friday to the well-seasoned Italian Clemente Russo, 7-1.

Wilder was the last U.S. boxer left standing and will bring back the bronze medal. Along the way, he fought well, conducted himself with great class and brought a lot of attention to spina bifida, the disease which affects his young daughter.

Many feel his professional prospects are bright, but first it’s back to college to complete his business degree.

Well done, Deontay.

Read the rest

“Enhanced” Gymnastics?

Yesterday I went over to the gym for a quick elliptical trainer workout at lunch. While there, I was forced to watch equestrian and rhythmic gymnastics. The lady on the trainer next to me was really into it–and she had the remote.

I told her my whole life story, including the part about the little speeding ticket that I got fixed back in ’91, tossed her my Audi keys and blurted out the password to my bank account just so she would change the channel.

I wonder if Dick Cheney has ever thought about giving those a whirl?

Read the rest

Bolt Bolts To Second Gold Medal

Sorry. I had to use that one because “lightning strikes twice” was already taken–about a gazillion times.

And this time he even ran through the tape (somebody probably gave him a talking to after the 100-meter showboating).

Yeah, he’s cocky, but mon, can he ever back it up! I like him, and I’m not going to jump on the old fogey bandwagon and start dumping on him. He’s young, on the biggest stage in the world, and he’s totally in charge. The other runners don’t seem put off by his antics at all, but instead seem to like him and enjoy being seen on the same stage with him.… Read the rest