Category: 2008 Beijing Olympics

Huntsville’s Hoelzer Captures Bronze

Huntsville’s Margaret Hoelzer finished third in the finals of the women’s 100 meter backstroke competition today, capturing her first Olympic¬† medal.

Well done, Marge. All of Alabama, even the Roll Tide types, are rejoicing.

Now it’s on to the 200 meter backstroke later this week (she’s the current world record holder) where she will be the favorite.… Read the rest

March On, Sarge Marge

Huntsville’s Margaret “You Can’t Holz ‘er Back” Hoelzer kept her cards close to her chest yesterday and cagily made her way into tonight’s 100 meter backstroke final (9:23 pm Central).

This is not her best race (she is one of the favorites and the current world record-holder in the 200 meter back, however), so gold-medaling is still somewhat of a longshot, especially with teammate Natalie Coughlin and Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry in the race too.

Speaking of Coventry, she set a new world’s record in her heat last night, and there’s an interesting side story developing there. Even though Hoelzer and Coventry raced side-by-side last night, there seemed to be little of the usual inter-lane congratulations between the two after the heat was over.… Read the rest

Old Olympic Dreams Never Die–They Just Go Slower

Ah yes, the ol’ missing first paragraph is back:

My Olympic dream died sometime around 1978. The reality was that I could barely crack the top 10 of an average high school cross country race, so there was little hope of me ever mounting the winner’s platform and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in my lifetime.

And here’s the rest.

Here’s some footage of me running the last lap in that charity fundraiser at Harding University in 1983.

And here I am today with my Sunday morning running buddies, “Team Wannabe” (that’s actual speed, not slow-mo).

Old Olympic dreams never die–they just go slower.… Read the rest

Abileners–Be On the Lookout For This Man

I’m taking time out from our regular Olympic programming for a special bulletin to my Abilene readers. Please be on the lookout for this man:


He was last spotted headed west “on the road to Abilene” with his wife Janet and a van full of kids. But don’t worry, he’s not dangerous; he’s just a little wordy sometimes.

You see, Doug is headed there to fulfill a lifetime dream of teaching in the journalism department at his alma mater, Abilene Christian University. For years, he’s been working at The Huntsville Times and writing a regular column “Soul Food,” which he also turned into a book, How Jesus Ended Up in the Food Court: Seventy-seven Devotional Thoughts You Never Thought About Before.Read the rest

“One World One Dream”…and Tanks Too

I was out soccering last night with Numbers Two and Three and their teams in the opening tournament of the year, so I haven’t caught much of the opening ceremonies yet. Scrolling through the 4-plus hours of recording on my DVR and hitting the highlights is on my to-do list today, after more soccer matches, mowing the lawn, my weekly elliptical trainer workout at the gym…phew, I should get a gold medal for doing all that.

Number One, who was watching at home, called during the soccer matches and said it all seemed a little “creepy,” in a “if 1.3 billion people are capable of putting on this kind of show, what else are they capable of doing?”… Read the rest

My Olympic Dream Dead? Not So Fast!

For Jim Ryun, his Olympic dream of winning a gold medal went unfulfilled. He failed to qualify for the 1500 meter final in 1964 (he was still in high school, though) and then finished second to Kip Keino in the high altitude air at Mexico City in 1968.

But the most bitter disappointment came in 1972 when he was tripped by another runner in a qualifying heat. Although the judges ruled that he was fouled, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for reasons still not understood, didn’t reinstate him. Dream over.

Still, an Olympic Silver Medal, a world record in the mile and a high school mile record (3:55.3) set in 1965 that stood for 36 years–not too shabby if you ask me.… Read the rest

Me and Ol’ Earl

Okay, so I didn’t really look like Jim Ryun, even though I tried to, and I sure wasn’t as fast as he was.

What did I look like back in 1978 at the so-called “peak” of my running career? Behold:

The ectomorph in the middle is me. I think I may have weighed 130 lbs back then…sopping wet. The blond Adonis on the right who looks like he should be giving massages to rich, middle-aged women at Club Med is Lindsey. Coach Earl “Dude, where’s my car?” F. is on the left.

Now before all you ladies go getting too worked up over Lindsey, I should point out that he never beat me in a race, and we all know how important that is later in life.… Read the rest

The Huntsville Times’ McCarter Covers Beijing

The Huntsville Times‘ very own sports reporter and columnist Mark McCarter is wheels down in Beijing and already up and reporting.

I may check in with our intrepid man on the ground in the Olympic village a little later and have him check to see if Ocular Fusion has been blocked by Chinese censors.

With all the crap I’ve been throwing their away about that LUNG-CHOKING SMOG, I wouldn’t be surprised.

UPDATE: No need to check with McCarter after all. I checked here, and it looks like Ocular Fusion is still up and running behind The Great Firewall of China:

Website Test Results

Tested From: Beijing, China
Tested At: 2008-08-06
16:28:37 (GMT -04:00)
Read the rest

*Beep*…Dear Dr. P., I Won’t Be Coming Today

I suddenly realized a few minutes ago that I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned at noon today. Long time readers may recall how I feel about that.

I’m really (ahem) “way too busy” to make that one this time, so I called and left the following message:

Hey, Cindy (the receptionist), it’s Mike the Eyeguy. Look, you know how much I value good dental hygiene, probably as much as the next guy, but I was looking at my teeth last night, and really, the coffee stains aren’t that bad (sort of a light beige rather than the usual dark brown) and they’re only a few pieces of the previous six months’ meals stuck in the crevices, so really, I’m in pretty good shape.

Read the rest

The Morning Run, A Reprise

Some of you have been clamoring for a shot of the proprietor of this joint. Well, here’s a shot of me “back in the day” when my morning workout was truly a run and not just a slog:


I sense some skepticism out there coursing the interwebs and emanating from my computer screen. What’s that you say? Is that really the Eyeguy?

Would I ever pull your leg, kid around, be factitious, yank your chain, or otherwise out and out lie simply for effect?

Yup, you bet I would.

Actually, that’s a very young Jim Ryun working out in the 1960s when he was rising to the top of the distance running world and around the time that he set the world record in the mile run.… Read the rest