Category: 2008 Beijing Olympics

Who Is That Masked Athlete?

TWSJ gives us the answer.


UPDATE: I could see this coming a mile away. And it only took less than 24 hrs.

This sort of reminds me of that time back in ’78 when I and the rest of the Franklin County High School cross country team brought several bottles of lime Gatorade to drink at lunch on the afternoon of that big meet at Northside High.

Assistant Principal Hodges spotted the glass bottles and confiscated them and we were forced to apologize for violating the “no glass containers in the lunchroom” policy.

By the way, it was 95 degrees that day, and on the way home from the meet (we lost), the team bus had to stop at Roanoke Memorial Hospital so that I could get IV fluids for my heat exhaustion.… Read the rest

Southern Swimmers Are Tough

We were in Singapore for slightly over a week. I’m glad that I am from Alabama and know what humidity is because it was really, really humid. I got a big kick out of watching the majority of the team (who are all from the West Coast) wilt like flowers when outside for more than 10 seconds. Yes, we Southerners are tough!

–Margaret Hoelzer, US Olympic Swim Team

Margaret Hoelzer, Huntsville native and US Olympic swimmer, gets it right.Read the rest

The Morning Slog

homer_running-754097.jpgIt’s August in Alabama, and that means triple digit heat indexes all across the state over the next few weeks. It’s sauna city the instant you step out the door, and then just try doing anything. The gurus at Nike haven’t even conceived of wicking fabric that can pump away the gallons of sweat produced on a typical Deep South “dog days of summer” afternoon.

That makes exercise in this stuff particularly tricky. Do I go for a morning run and deal with 90% + humidity and less heat, or do I wait until the evening when there’s typically less humidity but the temperatures often stay in 90s up until the time the sun sets?… Read the rest

Where Were You In ’72?

In a few minutes, I’ll lace up my Nike Vomero running shoes (black and gold swoosh for Harding–Hail, alma mater!) and once again hit the pavement for an early morning 5-miler. It’s a habit with roots from the early 1970s, more specifically, the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

I’ve been reminiscing some about that time these past few days as I’ve been writing my next Huntsville Times community column which will appear on August 10th, the opening weekend of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

Here’s a sneak preview:

During the 1972 Munich Games, American runners like Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Dave Wottle and Frank Shorter captured my elementary schoolboy imagination and launched my own much less stellar running career…

…I fashioned a makeshift running singlet by cutting off the sleeves of a white t-shirt and stenciling a crude “U.S.A.”

Read the rest

All American Plans

Sorry, but this one was just too sweet not to post again.

I have big, big plans for the 4th:

  • Put up a blog post (check)
  • Water my new sod in the front yard (working on it as I write)
  • Run 5 miles
  • Watch a little Wimbledon (but where have all the McEnroes gone? Thank goodness for the Williams sisters)
  • Go see a movie (I’m open to suggestions, but I’m leaning toward WALL-E)
  • Cookout with the parents-in-law (FIL grills the best burger in Huntsville-seriously)
  • Go see the Huntsville Stars play the Birmingham Barons and watch fireworks afterwards
  • Catch a little of the US Olympic Track and Field Trials from Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon (no cooler T&F venue in the universe)
  • Fall blissfully asleep on the couch
  • Wake up at 1:00 AM and stumble to bed

If those aren’t All American plans, I don’t know what is.… Read the rest

Huntsville’s Hoelzer Backs Toward Beijing

margaret-hoelzer.jpgHuntsville’s Margaret Hoelzer booked passage to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games yesterday with a strong second place finish in the 100-meter backstroke event at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha.

Her 59.21 seconds would have tied the world record 2 days ago. But the winner, Natalie Coughlin, swam the first sub-59 second 100-back ever, her second WR in as many days.

This will be Hoelzer’s second trip to the Olympics. She represented The Rocket City and the rest of the U.S. in Athens in 2004 where she finished fifth in the 200 backstroke.

Competitive swimming and diving are a big deal in Huntsville, and we’ve long served as a seedbed for collegiate swim programs such as the University of Alabama and perennial NCAA powerhouse Auburn.… Read the rest