Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic blatherings


- For anyone who wanted to celebrate the Canadian Men's Eight rowing team win gold, they also had to be confronted with a different kind of glory: the exact size and shape of the team's dinks, practically in every shot. A nice treat for their families, no doubt.

As a dude who's been running 30+ miles a week, I have a special interest in track events (aside from well-executed piaffe, of course), especially long-distance stuff, so here it goes:

- With
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep's unexpected bronze in 100m Hurdles, Canada gets it's first track medal since ... Donovan Bailey? Nice. But I still think we should trick a few more Jamaicans into running under our flag as it would be probably cheaper and more effective than developing our own program. I'd take their "B" Team any day.

- As much as I admire Michael Phelps getting gold medals for what is essentially the same event eight times, I think Usain Bolt's 100m jog is the performance of the Games so far. The guy barely broke a sweat against elite competition and actually managed to finish a crossword puzzle during his record-breaking run earlier this week. And I'm not even sure what makes him so fast since he's supposed to be too tall and bulky for a sprinter, but the propulsion with each stride is unbelievable. There's more tonight as he takes on the 200m.

- No surprises in the 10,000 m as
Kenenisa Bekele, the world record holder for that distance, took the gold, beating up on his mentor Haile Gebrelassie who finished 6th. I'm happy to see that my girlfriend Tirunesh Dibaba has broken the World Record for the same distance, seemingly out-lapping any women not born in Ethiopia or Kenya (although Shalane Flanagan from the US did finish a distant, distant third).

- Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe didn't win a marathon medal, but surely she should win some sort of hardware for having a kid a year ago, suffering a stress fracture in her left femur and then running the marathon anyway, puking halfway through her 23rd place finish. See you in London, Paula. I wouldn't say Constantina Diṭă-Tomescu came out of nowhere, but her reckless, aggressive style wasn't the safe bet to win the competition. In the Men's, coming up later this week, I'm just cheering against god-boy Ryan Hall from the US, as I find his "I've been chosen by God to run marathons" shtick a bit too much.

- Simon Whitfield, you lovable son of a bitch, what a run. While fat, middle-aged sportswriters may still decry the lack of gold medal killer instinct in our athletes, Whitfield's silver may be the hardest-won, most athletic display of all medals won for Canada in the Beijing Olympics. What a kick.

9 comments:

DMFB said...

Is that a midget on the end of that photo, or just a guy kneeling?

mike w said...

That is the coxswain, who just yells at the other guys and navigates the boat. Since a coxswain comparatively does very little, they like 'em small and light.

Canuckfan said...

Couldn't agree with you more about Whitfield. What an amazing performance. Literally inspirational.

Dare said...

I loved watching Whitfield last night. Tosses the hat off, and it's game on. Awesome.

I'm also right there with you on Bolt. That he could run the 100m that fast, while stumbling out of the blocks and slowing down at the end is just incredible.

Black Dog said...

30 miles a week? Are you mental?

gary b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gary b said...

well, it's not the SIZE of the coxswain, it's what you do with it…


the last-minute heroic/dramatic finishes (Lopes-Schleip, Whitfield) have made for some pretty compelling TV viewing. i've watched more of these Olympics than any in years. hope there's a bit more dram yet to come…

Scarlett said...

Simon's last kick was awesome. He almost had it. That is the best Canadian medal thus far!

Lord Bob said...

30 miles a week? Are you mental?

Please refer to Mike's other blog, "Covered in Sweat and Bird Crap".