Category: 2008 Beijing Olympics

Small World, Eh?

It turns out Margaret Hoelzer isn’t the only athlete with North Alabama ties competing in Beijing.

Toyin Augustus is a Nigerian 100 meter hurdler who prepped at and ran track for Grissom High School (Number One and Three’s alma mater) prior to competing at Penn State.

Also, Julianne Kirchner is a 50 meter freestyle swimmer from the Marshall Islands whose parents grew up in North Alabama and attended UNA.

(UPDATE 8/16: You can read how her race went here).

Why the Marshall Islands? Julianne (age 16) has lived most of her life on Kwajalein Island, and if you’re from Huntsville, you probably know at least one rocket scientist in your circle who has spent some time in that distant atoll.… Read the rest

Pardon the Interruption; Football’s A’Comin’!

We interrupt our normal Olympic programming to bring you the following important S.E.C. football announcements.

First off, welcome Clemson fans! It seems some literature-loving Tiger (did you know there was such a species?) has linked my post entitled “The Greatest Alabama Fan in the World” to a fan message board and now orange and blue purple (h/t, Number One) Tigers of a different stripe are coming here in droves.

I hope y’all enjoyed the story. Phyllis from Mulga? Ha! She ain’t got nothin’ on Amanda! And believe me, there’s plenty more like that where she came from. It’s going to be LOUD in Hotlanta come 8/30, folks!… Read the rest

Somebody Check That Girl’s Grill!

“If you look close, you can see they still have their baby teeth. Little tiny teeth!…One was even missing a tooth!”

–U.S. women’s gymnastics coach Martha Karoyli commenting on the apparently underage Chinese gymnasts

Missing a tooth? Good grief, how in the world did she ever get in front of the cameras? I guess the PRC politiburo grill-checker must have been otherwise occupied.

Tooth-gate continues.Read the rest

Home-Cooked Chinese?

Believe it or not, I was actually in bed last night throughly engrossed in a book when Michael Phelps won gold medals #4 and #5 and the “16-year-old” Chinese pixies with the oh-so-straight teeth won the women’s gymnastics team title. I figured all those outcomes were fait accomplis anyway and that I might as well read, rest and catch up on the video and stories in the morning.

Now U.S. women’s gymnastics Head Coach Martha Karoyli is calling out meet officials and implying that they might possibly have mixed up a little, as we say in the South, “home cooking.”

Karoyli was steamed over the officials’ “holding” of gymnast Alicia Sacramone just prior to her balance beam routine.… Read the rest

The Michael Phelps Dolphin Diet

Every wonder what kind of fuel Michael Phelps burns while powering his way to all those gold medals and world records? Ever wonder why he looks more like a marine mammal than a human being?

Wonder no more.

Warning: Do not try this at home. The Michael Phelps Dolphin Diet only works if are currently swimming about 5 miles per day at world class speed.

Read the rest

From Budweiser Man to Olympic Boxer

Not to be overlooked in all the Hoelzer hullabaloo is another remarkable Alabama athlete, Deontay Wilder.

He’s the U.S. heavyweight boxer who hails from Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Roll Tide!). His is one of those classic Olympic stories that always has Eyegal reaching for the Kleenix; one moment he’s working at Red Lobster and driving a Budweiser truck to help support his young daughter born with spina bifida, and in the next, he’s gunning for gold in Beijing.

THT’s Mark McCarter is johnny-on-the-spot per usual with a nice profile, and Alabama Public Radio has done a good piece as well.

Deontay got off to a good start today winning his first match, and at 6’7” with a body covered in tattoos, he’s having the time of his life in Beijing–people think he’s LeBron James.… Read the rest