Monday, August 18, 2008

Phelps has golden touch, World is witness to a Bolt of lightning

Michael Phelps swam into history during the games of the XXIX Olympiad with a total of eight gold medals eclipsing the mark set by Mark Spitz 36 years ago, and not without his share of close calls. In a time span that does not amount to much more than the blink of an eye, Phelps fulfilled a half-rotation before Milorad Cavic of Serbia could stretch, extend, and float to the wall. Despite a post-match protest and thanks to the slow motion photos provided by Sports Illustrated, as improbable as it looked in live action MP did beat him to the wall. Marc Lifsher said it best, as 100 minus 0.01 equals eight. So how does this rank among the best ever Olympic performances? Put another way, is Phelps the greatest Olympic athlete ever?


While the waves were calming in the water on land things were electric as Usain ”lightning” Bolt won the 100-meter dash in a world-record time of 9.69. However in all actuality he really only ran the 85-meter dash as he coasted the lat 15 meters including one blown kiss and two chest pumps. He was so far ahead that once he crossed the finish line he could have got on his cell and solidified his many upcoming endorsement deals before the second place finisher crossed the same line. What’s scary to think about is how fast he COULD have run it in if he would have stayed focused through the tape? Perhaps we’ll get a glimpse in when he attempts to repeat the feat in the 200. So what to make of the US sprinters this Olympics? We are simply getting our stars & stripes whipped by the laid back, precocious, and confident crew from the Caribbean. Normally our staple events the men’s AND women’s 100 events were dominated by Jamaica, and we will not even talk about what’s happening in the boxing ring. So how did we go from dominator to dominated in four short years?

18 comments:

wrongway82 said...

This is truly sad. For all the resources we have in the US and all the effort and time put into the athletes ( as well as the athletes putting in themselves), this is really actually pathetic. Anyone see what and how Usain Bolt practices? Some beat up gym that looks like an old water damaged basement (that size too) and the weights that are 50 years old at best. The track has cracks in it and weeds growing between them. I mean... I don't know what to say about the US mens track & field team. Gay, he's been a HUGE disappointment.

rdrjo75 said...

Unbelievable. The top three teams from 2004 Olympics couldn't get the baton around. You gotta feel bad for Tyson Gay. Just last year at the World Championships he was king of the track. It looked like Gay had his hand in good enough position to get the baton without any problems. But that is how the relays go sometimes.

Nyghtewynd said...

It's official. Everyone at US Track and Field must go, from the top down. This Olympics has been an absolute embarrassment for this country, and it should not be tolerated. This sort of utter incompetence is not acceptable.

tommyack said...

A lack of concentration and a bit of bad luck... Personally, I believe these so called teams are a bunch of individuals who lack the concentration and togetherness it takes to succeed in this environment. Now, we can all listen to all of the excuses...Written number tags, bad luck, just isn't happening for me in these games,etc., etc. It comes down to the pressure put on them by the Jamaicans, a lack of preparation for a team event, and no togetherness for the Americans!!!

HunterKHuston said...

sprint relays are won and lost at the handoff...in high school. beyond that it should be seamless. high level sprinters should have this down, despite everything else. in my opinion, this i like an NFL kicker missing 25yd FG attempt or a NBA point guard missing Free Throws. it should not happen. granted it is a shame that it happened and happened twice. i can only wonder at what training was involved in nailing down these exchanges. exery sprinter i have worked with at the 8th grade leve to seniors in HS can tell you without batting an eye how many steps he/she needs to give before taking off in any of their respective races for any of the possible runners at the preceding leg. all i can say here is goodness gracious. at least the runners know...

TruthHurts240 said...

Hey Smacchat how are they beating us? Of the 20 medals that we tote 4 are gold Jamaicans 5. The events they are favored to win they do, the ones we are favored to we don't. We will naturally have more medals because we entered more. In addition if you are a true fan of track so know what the significant races of track and field are and in all cases we did not manange a single gold in long held American strongholds not to mention the shocking result of the pole vault and long jump just adds insult to injury. Facilities do make a difference when you have the proper track relative to some kids in the Caribbean training in primary schools in dirt, grass and gravel riddled areas we should have a definitive advantage in early development and established skill. Why do you think most of them come to the US to train? The facilities..

Anonymous said...

the criticism is warranted face reality it is a debacle the only reason they did good in the 400 where there was not any competition other than themselves in those heats. In the competitions where their was significant competition they folded like wilted flowers. That is the facts. I am a former athelete and I can say they have underperformed disappointed and embarassed the US. Jamaica is putting on a sprinting clinic. I guess they showed up hoping the USA name "hand markered" on their shirts world automatically give them gold. It is an embarrasment there is no sugarcoating that, no hiding from it the first time since what 1912 we don't have a single team in the final's of the relays, the first time since when I can't remember that we did not have a gold medal in either in the mens's or women's 100m or 200m, the first time since long jumping and the history that no one medaled I mean come on facts are facts. We may have to ask Bolt to give these jokers some yams.

teqeeler said...

wow most of you people have no right to criticize these track athletes. You follow baseball, basketball and football all season and you think your knowledgeable enough to comment on these athletes?
There's alot more to track and field then just the olympics every 4 years, but the fact is america only pays attention to our big sports and when the olympics roll around we expect them to dominate by a large margin. These athletes are revered in there other countries and are followed year round, through the world championships and the other big track meets which are a big deal but hardly go noticed here. These athletes aren't a disgrace by any means, alot of the track stars who haven't performed to there standards in beijing have dominated in the world championships, but did we pay them any recognition for that? no we didnt! most of you commenting are bandwagon fans who only pay attention to track when the olympics roll around, which is a shame because we have some amazing runners.
Its the same with bode miller who has done an amazing job on the world cup circuit, but had a bad olympics and everyone called him a joke artist, please.
And people saying how could we get beat by a small island? well thats all they do there is run, what kind of facilities you have does not make how fast you can go dumbness, most of our track stars come from humble backgrounds with poor facilities. Its like why does minnesota produce 90 percent of american born hockey players? cause thats what they do.

snapon said...

All I can say is the US Track and Field team has been a big dissapointment aside from the Men's 400 Meters, Men's 400 Meter Hurdles. I mean even in the longer distance competitions, Americans who were expected to be in the finals couldn't even make it out of the semifinals or quarterfinals.

mitchgoblue78 said...

I don't like the criticism most are placing on ANY of the athletes that don't meet their/our expectations. And you are correct... at this or any level of comp. crap happens... the pressure is unbelievable. I'm still proud of all of our athletes regardless of the outcome. I mean look at what happened to the women's softball team... or our soccer team... that is what is so wonderful and painful about competition.

And it puts phelps' rec

padfan10 said...

The track team has had a bad, bad Olympics and the media told us this was the best team in a long time. So, we have non-qualifiers in events that we should do well in, botched relays, trash talking. We should not say "Well, we tried!!!!" When a little bitty country like Jamaica kicks our ####, something is wrong. We're better than this....

ivsport said...

This feels like a September call-up taking his eyes off a fly ball and then trying to catch it without using two hands and dropping it. IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN! Maybe in pee-wee baseball or middle school track but this is the Olympics. And for one team to do it would have been embarrassing enough but for both to do it and lose out on a chance at a medal is too embarrassing for words. I hope the US Track and Field program uses this disappointment to fuel a much harder training program for 2012.

counterops said...

It's that "oh well, ***t happens" attitude that led to that foolery in the first place. You can have that attitude about a 4th place finish but to lose based on your own incompetence is a whole different story. I'm sure the people that didn't get to go would argue that they could've made that exchange. Noone is bashing the Olympians but you have to expect more especially when Track and Field was on the verge of staging World Championships here in the US for the 1st time since God-knows-when. Who's going to sponsor that kind of mess in the US??

feupwlosing said...

You know, it is absolutely a disgrace for this kind of mess to go on. This is something these athletes get paid to do outside of the Olympics... Handing off a baton and receiving the baton. It's something they have done their whole track careers since middle school and junior high and to screw up on Track and Field's grandest stage is unacceptable. I'm a former track runner and I would like to see our sport assume more attention in our country but not like this. This won't bring people to watch our sport so we don't have to travel 18 hrs for the world championships. Handing off a baton is like kicking an extra point in football or making a layup in basketball. Also, Tyson Gay shouldn't even have been out there since he was crying about how his hammy was hindering his perfomance in the 100. Did he miraculously heal enough to run the 400m relay?? The guy has been an embarassment to the USA. Someone more deserving of the spot missed out because of his insistance on going and look what he brought to the table with his presence...Screw ups and 6th or 7th place finish.

sportyguyfl31 said...

im not all that surprised in the least. Our 4x100 relays have been notorious for horrid baton passing for years.

I hold my breath every time I watch the US in a relay race.

CaorlinaKid said...

Just saw the relay prelims....too bad ...it was Pattons resposibility to get the baton in Gays hand. It looked like he had the baton in the wrong hand..his right hand and tried to pass it across his body to Gays left hand. I don't think it was Gays fault at all but he took the blame and they was obviously very disapointed in the outcome. Too bad oh too bad but the USA will be back.

toobadforu said...

"Eh face it other then swimming (thank you phelps) and gymnastics(thank you johnson and luikin), with a resurgence in martial arts, fencing and wrestling the US has underperformed horribly in Boxing (the US owns 39 golds in alone!!!) with only one medal contender versus 5 chineese wth. And if that wasn't enough were getting creamed in track and field which we have won more medals in every olympics for 60+ years!"

Mosiah7 said...

Gay is too soft to be a U.S. Olympian. He drops the baton and doesn't even show much emotion about all that hard work going up in flames (no pun intended). At least LoLo Jones laid down on the track and cried for awhile. I don't know where dude is from, but this couldn't be too proud a moment for his hometown.