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Olympic Tidbits 2008 August 23, 2008

Posted by Ted in : ER, Sports , trackback



  • Aaarrrghhh!!! I missed the opening ceremony.
  • I was impressed and inspired by Romanian Constantina Tomescu’s performance in the women’s marathon. She got about half a mile ahead of her competitors early in the race and didn’t slow down until she reached the olympic stadium. You might think a 38 year old would collapse from exhaustion after winning a 26 mile race, but after Tomescu crossed the finish line, she jogged laps around the stadium with the Romanian flag, smiling and waving at the fans. She’s the oldest person to win an olympic marathon.
  • Another favorite moment was seeing Jamaican runner Usain Bolt go up into the stands after he won the 100 meter race and hugging about ten people at one time, including his mother and cheering fans of various nationalities. Then later he hammed it up for the cameras, pretending to be a boxer and flexing his muscles.
  • The Bird’s Nest Stadium looks pretty cool at night, with its colorful lighting and spacey postmodern design. Unfortunately, from the air it looks like a giant toilet seat.
  • I couldn’t help but laugh after BOTH the US men’s and the US women’s relay running teams dropped the baton during the handoff, which disqualified them from the race. Apparently, they assumed during training that the handoff was not something to worry about. A perfect illustration of the saying once uttered by Dr. Romano on ER: “When you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.”
  • I’ve discovered how to use bullet points in my posts! The excitement never ends here in the crawlspace.
  • Water polo is the silliest sport of all time. It’s similar to hockey or soccer, but the players move much slower because the game takes place in a swimming pool. The teams paddle back and forth and try to make goals, and they wear silly caps that resemble baby bonnets.

On a more serious note:

I have developed a strange dislike of Michael Phelps that I can’t quit explain. Maybe it’s the media overkill. Maybe it’s his slight arrogance and his description of himself as the Michael Jordan of swimming. I know that sounds hypocritical after my praise of Usain Bolt earlier in this post. Bolt’s excessive showboating surely makes Phelps look humble by comparison. Do I expect better behavior from Phelps because he’s white? I’m not sure. Or maybe he reminds me of somebody from my past that I didn’t like. I may have to consult a psychologist to figure this one out. In spite of my feelings, I’m going to try to have some sympathy for Phelps. In addition to receiving nonstop coverage in the media, he is already making millions of dollars in product endorsement deals. All the sudden fame and fortune they’ve dumped on him won’t be easy to deal with at the age of 23. Whatever his personal quirks, Phelps clearly deserves credit for his eight gold medals. Congratulations, Mike.

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1. Joe GoldsteinNo Gravatar - August 25, 2008

Yes indeed, hooray for Constantina Tomescu! The fact that I am now 40 of course has everything to do with my enthusiasm for her victory.

What I don’t like about water polo is that I can’t really see where the ball is with all of the splashing going on. I’m looking at the screen and going, “Where is it? Is it there? Oh wait, it’s there! What? They scored a goal? I didn’t see that. Oh yeah, there’s the replay. You can kind of sort of see it go in the goal there.” I played water polo once and I got hit in the head with the ball once or twice when I came up for air. Not my idea of fun.

This is all I have to say about Michael Phelps:

I heard a radio show the other day where they played a few brief samplings of music from a couple of Michael Phelps’s favorite iPod tunes. These song titles were provided to the press by Phelps himself. The songs mostly consisted of bleep-infested gangsta-style rap tunes with some rap-metal stuff added in. This music is probably played to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, but Phelps listens to it for personal pleasure. But then again, so do millions of white suburban gangsta-wannabes throughout the American heartland.

2. EricNo Gravatar - August 25, 2008

Happy birthday, Joe! I can’t believe you’re fourty!

3. SalNo Gravatar - August 25, 2008

I have to sort of agree with you on the Phelps issue. I think the media has completely killed his accomplishment. Yes, I understand that what he did was a feat done by no other, but come on. Here is what makes me mad about the whole thing. What about everyone else from the US that won a gold medal? Apparently their gold medals are menial compared to one of Phelps’. I think his medals must have more gold in them than any of the other medals do, thus increasing all of the hype.

I know I would be extremely upset if that was my first olympics, I won a gold medal, and no one know who I was because I competed the same time the men’s 400 IM was on. Sheesh.

BTW, great post, and you will have to let me know how to do the bullet points when I get my wordpress page up and running.

4. EricNo Gravatar - August 27, 2008

So I guess it’s not just me. Thanks for the comment.

5. marybtNo Gravatar - August 28, 2008

Dude. I want to learn how to use bullets!

The only part I liked was when we smacked down the stupid fre*** and their stupid arrogant mouths!

6. EricNo Gravatar - August 29, 2008

Thanks for your input, Mary. Bullets are pretty easy to do actually. Just hit the icon for “Unordered List” and it automatically gives you a bullet for each new line. “Ordered List” gives you numbers.

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