Monday, August 11, 2008

Beijing Lives Up To Early Hype

The first three days of the Beijing Olympics have produced some amazing results and achievements already. Let's take a look at some of the notable moments.

Australia's Spicy Rice

Stephanie Rice, the 20-year-old sizzler from Australia won her countries' first Gold Medal in the women's 400m Individual Medley. In Australia, she gets as much press for her looks as she does for her achievements so it's refreshing to see that she's as good in the pool as she is out of it and not just an Anna Kournikova of swimming.

Phelps on course

The USA's Michael Phelps is going for an Olympic record of 8 Gold Medals at these games, and so far he is on course. Not all his events are individual ones, so it will make it tough for him as he has to rely on his team mates to help. But, so far so good, he is 2-2 and one of those Gold's came in the men's 4X100 freestyle in which France was probably favourite. One of the French swimmers, Alain Bernard even foolishly gave the USA more motivation by saying that the French were going to 'smash' the Americans.

Kobe, Lebron begin the redemption for the USA

After a nervous start from both teams, the USA handed a 31-point, 101-70 thumping to host nation China on the basketball court. The Chinese started out red-hot from 3-point land at one stage being 7-9. The USA on the other hand were ice-cold from the same area, but made up for it by scoring a high percentage of 2-point field goals. As expected, China's ball-handling was their biggest problem as the USA applied a lot of full-court pressure defense which caused many turnovers for China. China got a minor scare when Yao Ming appeared to injure his lower leg in the the second half and he briefly left the game but was able to return shortly after. Lithuania scored the first upset of the tournament when they edged Argentina, 79-75.

Age a concern for China's female gymnasts

To be eligible to compete at the Olympic Games, female gymnast's must be at least 16 years old during the calender year that the games are taking place. Over the weekend, I observed many of the fantastically talented and gifted girls from both the USA and China. However, there is no way that some of those Chinese girls are anywhere near 16-years-old. They looked barely 13 or 14. Perhaps I'm wrong but I doubt it. I know gymnasts are often young, but really, there should be tighter checks made by Gymnastics governing body to make sure that these girls are in fact old enough to compete. Taking nothing away from the girls though as they were simply fantastic both the Chinese girls and the ones from the USA.

Dubya at his finest

I think it's great when world leaders attend big sporting events and get involved like any other fan. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Australia's then Prime Minister John Howard was crowd surfing with an inflatable Kangaroo at one point which probably won him a few more years in office ! But, if anyone can goof things up and look foolish, it's Georgie boy. Here is a snap of him celebrating a USA win in the pool - proudly holding up the famous stars and stripes - the wrong way ! Also, on a TV interview with NBC's Bob Costas, Costas asked Bush about some of the problems in the USA today to which Bush replied that 'the USA doesn't have any problems'. No further comment is needed on that !

Check back later in the day for more news from Beijing.

1 comment:

Bezza said...

I think your reference to Rice as a "sizzler" is a little off and more appropriate for a BBQ. She is an athlete first and foremost, and her appearance should be left out of it. P.S. Anna Kournikova would wipe you off the court I'm sure!!