Monday, August 20, 2012

My Favorite Olympic Moments

After watching several hundred hours of athletes doing things I can't and some things I'd never heard of, the least I could do is turn it into a blog post on my favorite moments of the Olympics.

These are completely subjective based on how I felt when I watched them, whether it was live, where I was, how annoying my kids were, and how annoyed my wife was that I was watching 12 hours of TV each day.  I plan on doing zero fact checking, so if I make a mistake on a detail or two, so be it.

Men's 10,000 meters.  This is hands down my favorite Olympic moment in 2012.  I didn't even mind that Galen Rupp got beat by a Brit.  Considering an American hadn't medaled in this event since 1964, a silver one is worth celebrating, and if the British start bragging about this victory, I'll just bring up the American revolution and tell them to shut up.  By the way, I really like that Mo guy who won the 10,000 and 5,000.  His looks of disbelief as he crossed the finish line along with his smile displaying either intense pain, extreme jubilation, or both makes him the most likable English guy since Adam Ant.

Other men's distance events.  The United States usually sucks at any event more than 400 meters, all of which happen to be my favorite events and the only ones where there's at least a chance that more than half the field isn't on steroids, HGH, or EPO.  Along with Rupp's silver in the 10,000, Manzano got silver in the 1500 giving the U.S. second and fourth in another event an American hadn't medaled in since 1964.  Bernard Lagat also got 4th in the 5,000.  I don't care that he's from Africa.  He's American now.

The men's gymnastics high bar.  The odds of this being my third favorite event of the Olympics before the games started were about the same odds that none of the Jamaican sprinters took performance enhancing drugs within the past year.  At the time of the men's high bar, the U.S. was battling China for medal dominance, so when Chinese gymnasts grabbed the top two spots due to spurious judging, all I could do was root for Germany.  Although it was difficult putting aside my bitter feelings from World War II, I had to.  And the German delivered the second best high bar routine I'd ever seen.  The best high bar routine came next.  Some guy from the Netherlands pushed the sport to new levels.  Gold: Netherlands; Silver: Germany; Bronze: China.  The Netherlands' gymnast buddy who hugged him after winning the gold just might be the ugliest Olympian in history, making the victory even sweeter.

Classy American athletes.  These athletes comported themselves with class and dignity (with the exception of the U.S. women's soccer team who comported themselves like 1990s U.S male sprinters mixed with the 2000 Olympic basketball team).  You gotta love the decathletes paying homage to past American champions and to the greatness of their country without being arrogant.  I love the female sprinters and their appreciation for the opportunity to compete.  The swimmers were obviously having fun while destroying the rest of the world.  The basketball team, now led by classy athletes like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have made Olympic fans forget about the me first elements of past teams (with the exception of Kobe "Ball Hog" Bryant who still thinks he can hang, but can't).

David Boudia.  He was the last diver to qualify in the men's 10-meter springboard (the only diving event worth watching), finishing 18th in the preliminaries.  He fixed whatever was wrong in the semifinals and easily qualified for the finals.  He nailed dive after dive, put pressure on the Chinese pair who couldn't handle it, and finished the round with a flawless dive to shoot ahead of the British pretty boy and narrowly beat some Chinese guy who was obviously worried about his family getting shot by an angry Chinese Olympic Federation official.  Luckily for him, he had already won a gold medal and would probably be let off easy with a few lashings while being forced to watch human rights violations the Chinese government is so good at.

Michael Phelps.  Just when we thought Michael Phelps wasn't the dominating swimmer of the past, he made us all eat our words.  Hopefully, he'll celebrate a bit more discreetly this time or at least find a designated driver.


  1. Ha! Adam Ant! I loved the men's 10,000, too, and was so glad I got to see it. I missed most of the track and field due to my unplugged vacation.

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