Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Olympic Reflection Finale

There has been more than enough time since I last gave any review of any kind regarding the 2008 Summer Olympics. For those few that have been keeping up with my rants about the outcomes in track and field both successful and horrific, I apologize. My intentions were to give as much detail about the track and field competition, provide highlights, some spin where needed and most importantly information where NBC dropped the ball. Did anyone see the Women's Long Jump?

By day twelve of the Games and after the 4th day of Track and Field competition, I was pretty well spent from the long nights ending til 2AM. I had been neglecting my responsibilities at work long enough and the motivation from "but these are the games...they only come around every four years" just wasn't cutting it. However, I do have my last reflections on what I think was the most entertaining Olympics that I can remember. London 2012 has a hard act to follow.

Lolo Jones. Has a nice ring to it. I like saying it. But...could you end a race any badly? My heart went out to her. I was as devastated as she. So close, so effortless over the first eight hurdles, and number nine stands in her way of Olympic glory. That's how it goes. You win some and you lose the big one. However, anyone might have felt about Lolo Jones' disastrous end to what seemed to be a record breaking performance, she, being the outstanding class athlete she is, was very gracious in defeat and handled herself like a true sportsman. NEVER LET THEM SEE IT GET TO YOU. As she made her way into the tunnel, by herself and alone with her thoughts, the thought of having it then losing it seem to overcome her. She wept Olympian tears.

One huge positive that came out of Lolo's low point was Illinois' very own Dawn Harper winning the gold. Good for her!!!

When discussions of the worst 4x100m relay begin the 2008 US men's and women's will rank rather high. If both men's and women's team dropping the baton is a consequence for lack of practicing together, or athlete's agents getting in the way, or just plain old foolish arrogance, then I say we flip the script on how the 4x100m relay is decided for the US teams. It was a shame. I've seen twelve year olds with more finesse getting the stick around the track.

I sensed that the major corporate red carpet was going to be laid out for either Alyson Felix or Sandra Richards at the end of the Olympics. Seeing both get their just due? Forget it. Only one could be the queen. They both stood to make quite a bit of money for themselves if they brought home gold in their individual events. After having superb seasons last year and leading into the Olympics, it was on every one's lips that each of them could leave Beijing double golden girls. So who would be the queen? We'll never find out because with Richards choking in the women's 400m and Felix coming up short once again in the 200m, both were left short-handed. They both saved face by running exceptional legs on the 4x400m relay winning gold, but finding out who really is the face of US track and field was as interesting a story as was coming out of China.

More later....