Friday, August 15, 2008

Quick Olympics Notes: "Told You So" Edition

1) At least one of those Chinese gymnasts really is 13 years old. And, for the record, she's not even one of the ones I thought was most glaringly obvious.

2) Somebody agrees with me about Michael Phelps. Actually, many somebodies.

13 comments:

jessica said...

I think everyone agrees with you about the Chinese gymnasts, Joe.

I kind of though Katie Hoff's comment made her sound like a whiny brat, though I agree the feats of ALL our swimmers have been pretty outstanding. Even without Phelps our swimming medals alone put us 4th in the overall standings by country, ahead of France.

The stories are out there if you look for them, because I've seen features on Coughlin and Lochte and Soni's upset, but they could definitely be a little more prominent. Still, what Phelps is doing is far beyond amazing so I don't blame the media for its fervor.

I did feel bad for Cavic, seemingly to have the race clinched only to be out-touched, but I was also sick at the thought of Phelps losing out. I had been worried about the 100fly and last night was a gut-wrencher.

bo said...

My feeling about Katie until now was that they didn't choose her program very well and hyping her as the female Phelps was unfair to her, because how does she not fail to meet that expectation. But not fair?

Phelps has earned every bit of attention. He didn't go planning to win eight and come up with a couple and some excuses (which seems to happen the the highly touted with regularity). He had an ambitious plan with a ridiculous schedule that he earned with his performance at the trials. And what he is doing IS extraordinary. (And it's annoying the Thorpedo, which is an added benefit!) As Mark Kiszla noted the other day, he's Auquaman in the ppl and the Dork Knight on the deck.

bo said...

(oops, of course I meant, "But the attention to Phelps not fair?")

Joe Reid said...

Yeah, if I were a swimmer I don't think I'd be openly bitching to the media about the coverage gap, but I know I'd be feeling it. I'm just pissed I missed Lochte's win -- the one major men's race where I would have been psyched about the winner.

I guess it's my anti-dynasty thing. I rooted against the Patriots last year, I never liked Pete Sampras, I'm always pulling for someone to beat Tiger Woods. Perfection, to me, is boring. I'm always watching the other guys chasing the leader.

jessica said...

I'm a real underdog-supporter too, but Phelps has never struck me as the kind of guy who plays up his status as the favorite. He sets goals and he wants to win but he's a real team player (2 of his current medals and the 1 remaining wouldn't be options without his relying on his relay mates) and a great sport (he gave up his spot in the IM relay in Athens to Ian Crocker, even though he beat Crocker in the 100fly). He's even clearly fallible, what with barely edging out Cavic.

If you want to see Lochte in the 100m backstroke, nbcolympics.com has all the videos available. It was a great race.

jessica said...

Err, that's the 200m backstroke that Lochte won. Piersol won the 100m backstroke.

deirdre said...

Phelps is amazing, the Lance Armstrong of swimming: optimal physical attributes combined with exceptional drive and sufficient funding to create the perfect training program. Congrats to him for all he's achieved. But the media's public rim-job gets a tad annoying, even if it's not his fault and he never asked for it.

Joe Reid said...

Okay, don't tell anybody, but I REALLY hate Lance Armstrong.

Bo said...

Can we talk about Aaron Piersol? Because he is the cutest thing. Ever.

I love excellence. And pretty much anyone in the pool there is excellent. But the extreme excellence moves me.

And still. Aaron Piersol, people!

Joe Reid said...

You guys are killing me here.

jessica said...

I'll throw you a bone, Joe: Lance Armstrong is a total wank.

deirdre said...

Hey, I couldn't care less about Armstrong myself. But I remember reading several years ago about his particular physical attributes - in particular, the size of his heart and (I think) the length of his femurs - that made him an optimal cyclist. And Phelps, with the double-jointedness, the wingspan greater than his height and the muscles that apparently don't create as much lactic acid as those of mere mortals, is physically the ideal swimmer. Or so I've heard. A lot.

Bo said...

Can we move on to Angelo Taylor, please. Really quickly. While my heart still works.

Oh. And if I cared how arrogant men were, I couldn't follow sports at all--or talk to those fascinating but oh so self-absorbed academics that feed the intellectual side of my nature. So I love Armstrong. Because what he did on the roads of France? Unbelievable. Even without almost dying first. And I love policy wonks, even though...

But Phelps? Not arrogant. Just a geeky kid of a principal. Boy, did he grow up with a Kick Me sign in the middle of his back, or what?