Monday, August 25, 2008

Post Olympic Blues

Regardless of what you thought about NBC's coverage, the summer Olympics are done for another four years, and I, sure as hell, am going to miss them. I am such a fan of the games and I certainly get caught up in the emotion and passion they represent.

Of course there was the Phelps and Bolt phenomenon. Usain Bolt's 100 meter run was one of the most amazing athletic, physiologic, ultrasonic performances that I have ever seen. Sure he's a cocky SOB. Most 100 meter runners are - look back in history. Don't let that cloud how superior he was in a 10 second event against the best in the world. I was amazed by many performances though and at the same time, felt many went down without nearly enough praise and recognition.

Kenenisa Bekele was simply outstanding. His double in the 5000 and 10,000 didn't get a fraction of the attention it should have. The way he won was first class, taking the lead early on, setting the pace, and then running such a fast last 400 that no one stood a chance. It still gives me the goosebumps to think about it. Try this during this one week: run a 5K twice as hard as you could, going for pr's, on two different days. Oh, and then also try running two 10K's as hard as possible, again, going for pr's.

Watching these events made all my training the past two weeks just that much more focused and better.

In case you missed it, which was easy, since again, there was hardly any coverage, the USA's Brian Clay won the decathlon. That's that event that is actually a compiling of 10 hard ass events in case you didn't know which is easy to do since it didn't get covered much.

It's not just the victories that are interesting and inspiring though. I really felt for LoLo Jones, who all but had the victory secured before stumbling over one of the hurdles in the 110 hurdle event. She was poised and controlled during her post race interview, only to be filmed a bit later crying in the hallway. Man, I still think about all the blood, sweat and tears she poured into the last four years for this one event, only to have this misfortune - something that'll haunt her for the rest of her life I'm sure.

Anyway, I soaked it all in from the stunning opening ceremonies to the equally stunning closing ceremonies, from the swimming and track and field that I favor, to the gymnastics, rowing, volleyball, and even badminton. Synchronized diving I can do without. Yes, they are incredible athletes, but come on!


alan said...

I thought Bekele's performance was really undervalued by the coverage. While the race was shown in prime-time, they cut away from the coverage for other events and they really just didn't capture exactly what you're writing about- how grueling is it to run 13 and change 5K just to qualify to race in the 5K finals- and oh, win the 10K as well.

That's a double- and those middle-distance races on the track- I'd take a road 5K or 10K any day...

Eric said...

It is amazing Alan, that this double didnt get more press. Maybe it did on an international level, but here in the states, it flew under the radar. This double was done only a few times in history!

Rob Straz said...

I thought the men's marathon was incredible.. to go out that fast and still hold on to a great time was outstanding.

I believe this is more impressive than Geb's 2:04:2X WR when you consider the early pace, the competition and the heat. The dude even looked fresh at the end!

I also thought Ritz and Hall performed very well. They are both young and hungry - they should be factors for the next 10 years.

carlgrus said...

I can't believe that no one has mentioned either the men's or ladies triathlon. I was out of town, and Tevo'd them, to be watched this weekend. Does anyone care?

Eric said...

Agreed Straz, that marathon performance was something else and the winner is such a humble guy which is very cool.

Carl, I missed the tri and forgot to tevo it so I can't comment. I do think those guys are incredible athletes and it sounds as though Emma Snowsill executed a perfect strategy and performance, as well as the German.