Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beijing Olympics Coming to a Close

Well the 2008 Olympics are coming to a close with the closing ceremony today in Beijing. The Olympic committee will hand off the games to the 2012 Home, London and from what I have read Beckham will be in the building! Woo!

I must admit that going into the games I was not all that thrilled and excited for the games to begin, I was more occupied with the kickoff of NFL training camps and baseball pennant races. Not to mention the ongoing controversy about Tibet, the Olympic torch, and the initial sad note that the games began on with a heartless attack.

But thanks to many storylines and Olympic figures I became hooked and began setting the DVR every night to make sure I would catch all those story lines and games unfold throughout the 2+ week span.

Like many Americans, a swimmer named Michael Phelps from Baltimore initially captured my attention. Every race Phelps was in seemed to be a World Record and whether it be Phelps dominating the competition or winning by a fingernail, I was engaged. Michael Phelps, a perfect 8 for 8 in Gold Medals with 7 World Records to go along with it, came and went and I was wondering what story line or athlete would capture my attention next.

Naturally, being a basketball guru that I am, I was also interested in the Redeem Team. Thankfully they were doing as they were supposed to do and blowing out the competition. Early on they put it to Spain and Greece, two potential roadblocks. The team then went on to defeat the Aussies, Argentines, and Spanish can re-capture and essentially Redeem themselves as the kings of the hardwood and win the Gold Medal. I was very impressed by this unit and unfortunatly I do have to give some props to Coack K (ughh) for his job as coach. Dwayne Wade was able to show the World what he is capable of when he is healthy. Chris Paul and Deron Williams are proof that they are the new up and coming point guards of the league. Chris Bosh played exceptionally well defense with Dwight Howard patrolling the middle. Oh yeah, Lebron, Kobe, and Carmelo played pretty well also.

So what else caught my attention? Well a man named Usain Bolt from the island of Jamaica did the trick. I could not get over how incredible this guy was! Bolt is a 6'5'' sprinter who made a laughing matter out of three races. When a sprinter is able to taunt and showboat on a 100 meter race, that is incredible. It is typically a 10 second race and there is rarely any time to display any taunting. I was a big fan of Bolt and happy to see him set 3 world records with 3 gold medals.

What other story lines took place? Well there was the US Track & Field team who some would say struggled and failed to live up to the expectations. Tyson Gay failed to qualify and you had both of the 4X100 meter teams of men and women fail to qualify. However, the US Track and Field team was still able to land 7 Gold Medals.

You also had the controversy over the Chinese Women's Gymnastics team. The age of some of the winners were being questioned after they had defeated the U.S. and Russia and there were reports that one of the girls as only 13 years old. There was also the domination of Walsh/May-Treanor in the women's beach volleyball, the shocking upset of the U.S. softball squad, and the baseball team winning the bronze medal.

As we hand over the 2012 Summer Olympics to London and Beckham, I will say that I did enjoy the games this year and the coverage.

What for you are the top storylines of the Beijing Games? Was it the Redeem Team, Bolt, Phelps, Track, Chinese Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball or the opening and closing ceremonies?

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