Olympic Observations: Days 5-7
* We’re still seeing tons of beach volleyball. And yet no wrestling, tae kwan do, very little team volleyball…gah. Swimming is of course getting extended coverage. I didn’t include “judo” because, to be quite honest, it’s pretty boring.
* Michael Phelps has not only won Gold in every event he’s competed in, he’s also broken the world record for each respective event. NBC did a frightening CGI-heavy segment on Phelps’ highly unnatural build – he has the legs of a man 6’0″ and the torso of a man 6’8″. This makes two things very clear. One, Michael Phelps was built in a lab. Two, as itrytobeamused stated to me in a conversation, “omg michael phelps is going to rise up and kill us all.” She doesn’t use “omg” liberally, folks. This is serious business.
* From the same conversation, we were thinking out loud about the fact that almost every single swimming event has resulted in a world record being broken. It’s not just Phelps, either. Is there a new doping agent that’s undetectable (a la HGH – which they’re still developing a test for)? Did the Chinese put something in the water? Or are they all robots? Or are they all robots on HGH swimming in pools with anabolic steroids being used as a cleaning agent in lieu of chlorine?
* Frenchman Alain Bernard, who doomed his country’s chances in the 4 x 400m medley by talking trash and giving the Americans motivation to win, won a 50m race tonight. 50 meters. One lap. Congratulations on winning an event that requires no stamina, Alain. I’ll leave the puns to the readers.
* SPONSOR NOTE: The film “Beverly Hills Chihuaua.” It exists. *shudders*
* The All-Around finals for Men’s Gymnastics were last night, and boy was it sloppy. I don’t know if it was exhaustion, increased pressure, or perhaps the negative effects of an early morning jog in one of the most polluted cities in the world. All I know is that I saw one of the worst falls I’ve ever seen in an Olympics, and even the eventual Gold medal winner made an error on the pommel horse that children tend to avoid. Ugly.
* Staying on gymnastics, the Associated Press unearthed several articles from a Xinhua newspaper in 2007 that noted at least two of the members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics Team as being 13 years of age. They did an image capture of this article, and upon breaking the story found that the aforementioned stories had been removed. The official stance of the Chinese and the IOC is that their passports state that they qualify, and that’s that. It doesn’t concern them that ages and names on passports are determined by the issuing agency, in this case the Chinese government, since there isn’t any international oversight for this sort of thing. Meaning that a true investigation would be looking into birth certificates and records rather than taking the Passports themselves at face value. Passports can not only have errors, they can also contain outright lies.
In the next few days: a look at the greatest Olympians (hint: it’s not Phelps) and a bit of insight into why Bela Karolyi’s eccentricity is no laughing matter.