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posted 8/17/2008 10:46:04 AM |
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Last night, the world saw a young man make Olympic history. A moment that will long be remembered.

For me though, it wasn't just the feat of strength, endurance and speed that make Michael Phelps a true champion. It's not just that he won every race he entered. Not the 7 world records and 1 Olympic record that he redefined. It's not the media hype he has received. For me, it was that moment when, having become the first Olympic athlete to win 8 gold medals in one Olympics and having won more gold medals in his Olympic career, being questioned on how he did it all, Michael said, "Without these guys (indicating his teammates) it would not have happened."

That one defining moment when he showed the world that not all American athletes are self-absorbed assholes.

Dara Tores, a 41 year old Olympic swimmer, also from the good ol' US of A, made sure that a race was stopped to wait for one of her competitors to change out of a torn swimsuit. That's right, she made sure one of her competitors got her Olympic moment.

Sure, there were other medalists, other great moments in Olympic history... American and otherwise, which were probably amazing for one reason or another. But, in my opinion, these two "ugly americans' are two of the greatest athletes in the 2008 Summer Olympics, so far. Perhaps 2 of the greatest of all time. Why? Not just because they swam their little hearts out, but because they personified what the Olympics should be about, sportsmanship.

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Aug 17 @ 11:03AM  
Swimmers are usually this way, how many are on billion dollar contracts..

Hummmmm another story that is heart warming is one of the women in beach volleyball lost hr wedding ring and people cam through looking for it, as the sand was all imported a metal detector and film footage of where it might possibly be was used after all that days matches.. It was found and returned.

The athletes at this Olympics have shined and I am proud of all they have accomplished and the way they have done it..


Aug 17 @ 11:08AM  
I agree 100%

Aug 17 @ 11:29AM  
you go skwirl!!!!

Aug 17 @ 12:08PM  
you are so right and it makes you wonder will anyone else say these things in a paper??? Probably not great job skwirl

Aug 17 @ 12:22PM  

Aug 17 @ 12:41PM  
well said.......heres your greenie

Aug 17 @ 12:43PM  
I agree. I think that most olympic events are true labors of love in that unlike football, basketball, baseball, etc., there is not money to be made from it professionally beyond teaching and possible endorsements.

Aug 17 @ 1:04PM  

Very well said and I agree 1,000. I could not have said it any better.

And here's some green nut's for you.

Aug 17 @ 1:36PM  
Thanks for the comments and cookies.. hope y'all have a lovely Monday eve!

Aug 17 @ 1:39PM  
The athletes at this Olympics have shined

Unfortunately it's not true of all of them...I've read about the American women's gymnastics team screaming unfair that some of the Chinese competitors are underage and THYE (the Americans) should have the gold because of it. Doesn't really matter, the Chinese gals won gold because of skill. If a couple of the girls are underage, then that is another matter. They still out performed the American team.

Aug 17 @ 2:01PM  
Then there is the Swedish wrestler who refused his bronze medal and railed at the judges who got disqualified, joining three other disqualified athletes this year.

Aug 17 @ 2:37PM  
This is exactly why I wrote this blog. Who will be remembered? The teams and athletes who cried foul or those who personified sportsmanship. I'm hoping for the latter.. but betting on the former.

Aug 17 @ 3:15PM  
They should make more VISA Olympic commercials out of those moments, like Derek Redmond's Father helping him cross the finish line.

Aug 17 @ 3:40PM  
TEAMWORK can be a really great thing. And not being selfish helps.

Aug 17 @ 5:19PM  
They should make more VISA Olympic commercials out of those moments, like Derek Redmond's Father helping him cross the finish line.

What a FANTASTIC idea!

Yeah, unfortunately, it's the bad eggs that are going to be remembered most.

Aug 17 @ 6:01PM  
Great Blog !!

Aug 17 @ 8:44PM  

What also struck me this year was the incredibly narrow margin of victory in Phelps' last two races: three-quarters of a second in the 4x100 medly and one-onehundredth of a second in the 100m (there is an amazing underwater photo of the finish in the 100m on the CNN website .... under something like "golden moments." ) And the fact that the ugly politics pretty much dropped out of the picture after the games began and people responded to the extraordinary chemistry of the Olympics.

With all due respect to Michael Phelps and Skwirl, the Olympic Games event that stays in my mind is Franz Klammer's Alpine downhill run in the 1976 Winter Olympics. That may also have been the first time ABC Wide World of Sports carried the games. The downhill is the single most breathtaking event in all sports. Alas, Klammer's run is not on YouTube, but other examples are.

Aug 17 @ 8:54PM  
I totally agree with you, Sam. Those were shining moments to always remember and be proud of.

Aug 17 @ 9:03PM  

Inadequate but it captures some of the insane quality of this event:

Franz Klammer's downhill run at the Innsbruck Winter Olympics, 1976:

Aug 18 @ 9:32PM  

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