The highlights of the Olympics from my point of view so far:
Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final in swimming: in what was a very exciting race, Jason Lezak helped secure another gold medal at the end of the race. According to the Yahoo! Sports Blog (I know – I can’t believe I was on it either!),
“When he dove into the pool as the anchor of France’s 4×100-meter relay team, [Alain] Bernard had a .60 second lead over American Jason Lezak. Even though the 32-year old Lezak is one of the best sprint freestylers in the world, the .60 lead held by Bernard should have been insurmountable. Bernard held the world record in the event. A world record holder with a sizable lead… you do the math.”
And of course in my favorite sport – gymnastics:
In the women’s team final, the U.S team finished with a silver medal as the Chinese dominated the game throughout. My favorite was undoubtedly the Chinese performance on the last rotation in the floor exercise as it was incredibly great and they had so much fun with it. It was absolutely amazing to watch. In the Women’s Individual All-Around Final: American Nastia Liukin won the gold, American Shawn Johnson won the silver and Chinese Yang Yilin won the bronze.
Then, in the individual competitions:
U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin and her rival He Kexin get the same exact score on the uneven bars, but of course this is like the one sport that only awards one gold. With the IOC tiebreaker rules, Kexin won the gold medal, leaving Liukin with the silver medal. I read in an article that the reasoning was that: “Both scored 16.725, but He got the nod because her execution marks were closer to a perfect 10 than Liukin’s.” I found that pretty unfair – if they both got the same score, they both should have received the gold medal, like in most of the other sports. What is even more wrong is that Kexin had more visible mistakes!
Throughout the gymnastic competition, there was talk if He Kexin was even old enough to participate and it’ll be neat to see what comes out of that report. Several reports have He being as young as 12 years old.
And now onto specific people:
Michael Phelps: Outrageous. Wow. Incredible. I don’t even know where to begin with him. 8 gold medals, 7 world records.. what a week for him! With the eighth gold, Phelps eclipses Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals and seven world records set at the 1972 Munich Games.
The biggest accomplishment for Phelps might not be the eight golds, or the seven world records or the $1 million bonus from Speedo. The greatest feat for Phelps was that, for one week, he turned everyone in America into a swim fan. People who couldn’t tell you the breaststroke from the butterfly were hanging on each of his races, cheering on Phelps like they were lifelong fans.
I mean I am definitely not a sports fan in general, except for watching Rutgers Football games and the Red Sox here and there, but I got really into swimming this week. The excitement was incredible.
Usain Bolt: Jamaica’s 21-year-old Bolt breaks own world record to win the gold medal in the 100m dash without even trying finishing at 9.69 seconds.
Constantina Tomescu: a 38-year-old Romanian runner, won the marathon with like no competition. Her closest competitor at the end of the race was 22 seconds behind her as she held a steady and large lead for a good part of the marathon– and for sometime in the race she was even leading by over a minute. At 38, she is the oldest Olympic marathon winner.
Dara Torres: Proving that age is but a number, 41-year-old Dara Torres, lost the gold medal and won the silver medal by one-hundredth of a second — the same margin that helped keep possible for Michael Phelps to break Mark Spitz’s record. Torres won the silver medal in each of her three races this week.
And finally, Bob Costas himself as the host. He is incredibly funny and such a great host. I’ve definitely enjoyed his remarks throughout.
The idea of the Olympics is so incredible: to watch the best of the best from each country compete with one another. Even people like myself, who aren’t into sports at all, get so into it.. it’s amazing.
What I love even more is how for two weeks it’s like a bonding time. With each of our increasingly busy schedules, it’s been neat to make time to sit as a family every night to watch the Olympic events together.