Monday, August 11, 2008

The Olympics

I don't know a whole lot about swimming. I don't go out of my way to either watch it or do it. In fact, the only time I prefer swimming is when the alternative is drowning. But I do like the Olympics, have ever since I was a little kid and the USA had to sports battles with the evil empire. So last night I found myself watching the finals of the Men's 4 x 100 meter freestyle swimming. The story of Michael Phelps' attempt to make individual history is interesting. He seems like a nice guy and so I tuned in to see if he would be able to continue on his quest.

The announcers led into the race by stating how much of a favorite the French team was, how it would be almost impossible for the Americans or anyone else to win. Then they told how the French captain had said that his team would smash the Americans, that what was they were there for. So I watched hoping he would proven wrong. Sports is one of the great stages for drama no matter the sport. We really don't know what is going to happen. Watching the final leg of the relay, with the French captain in the lead and the American anchor closing was fantastic. The ending was fantastic. Jason Lezak caught the French swimmer and touched the wall in world record time. It was incredible as was the fact that the top five teams broke the old world record. But the part that will stick with me longest is the sight of Michael Phelps standing on the edge of the pool cheering Lezak on down the stretch, quickly looking up at the scoreboard to see who won and then celebrating with unadulterated joy when he saw that his team had won.
Beijing Olympics Swimming Mens Relays
It was a great example of why we play games long after we are no longer kids and regardless of the fact that it is for pay or love of the game. I would bet that last night's win was the highlight of his Olympics. I am so glad that I had the chance to see it live without knowing the result ahead of time.


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