Thursday, August 9, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
If Michael Phelps had any serious critics, they probably wore sack cloth over their heads Saturday evening. One could start with the word “awesome” and run the entire gamut of adjectives and it just might not adequately describe the XXX Olympiad’s golden champion.
And as related in Thomas Macauley’s “Horatius At The Bridge,” this feat probably won’t be repeated in our lifetime – 18 gold medallions and a staggering 22 for a lifetime achievement. He claimed another record when he became the first male Olympian to win three gold medals in the same events in three successive Olympiads.
Please don’t assume that yours truly is trying to take anything away from Phelps’ friend and teammate (Ryan Lochte), but Michael appeared to be completely comfortable with Lochte besting him in the 400IM.
The oddsmakers are already queing up to portend Phelps will be coaxed out of retirement for the 2016 Olympics. Personally, I think he is done. What else can be asked, or expected, of such a champion?
The USA men’s basketball team continued to roll in Group A but had to rethink their dedication after a tough game with Lithuania which they won by five (99-94). King James had to take charge in the final frame to save the U.S.’s bacon. This game was the next in rotation for the USA after they clobbered Nigeria 156-73.
The Team USA women are on cruise control in their bracket. They tied a modern day Olympic scoring record by beating China 114-66.
Two of the venues which seemed to have captivated the attention of the majority of the attendees were those of the track and field and women’s gymnastics. These arenas were filled to capacity at each event and the members of the different teams comprising the track field contingent provided some very enjoyable highlights. None was more anticipated than that of the finals in the men’s 100M. This race starred the four fastest men in the world. Since each of these individuals had such colorful histories, it would be practically impossible to put them in this article. It suffices to say that Usain Bolt answered all of his critics and is still the king of speed. He and Carl Lewis are the only two runners to win back-to-back gold in the 100. I pick the “Lightin’ Bolt” to do the same in the 200.
Once again there is a scarcity of words to heap all of the deserving accolades on the USA women’s gymnastics team. I hope everyone noticed the poise and decorum exhibited by these beautiful young ladies throughout their stellar representation of their country. Each and every time they posed, their countenances showed confidence and defiance and no fear. They kept the string going of picking up in the individual all around and the indomitable Gabby Douglas became the first black American female to win the event. Their team gold was the first since 1996.
There were some disappointments in single competitions, but there is no need for concern. The production in this arena will not fade.
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