Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Olympic Fever!

I originally said that I wasn't very interested in the Olympics...and didn't plan on watching much of it, but....that's isn't quite true. I have at times been watching them like a mad fool!

Initially...I just wasn't very jazzed about the games, but once they started...that feeling really changed. I have such a passion for sports...so it didn't take much for the Olympic spirit to be in full force. I have been amazed by these athletes and the competition...the hype...and the controversy. It's really been an amazing experience to watch.

First off...Michael Phelps...the swimming machine. I usually am not too interested in swimming...I'll watch it, but not something I am eager to see. Phelps changed that for me. One, he is so phenomenal...he's 19 and without a doubt one of the best swimmers in the world, if not the best. He won 8 medals...6 gold and 2 bronze. I was really exciting watching him swim. Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that he is hot...yep...quite a hottie! lol And finally...he is a great sportsman. He has nothing but positive and kind things to say about his teammates and his competitors....and of course, he gave up his spot in the finals of the relay for his teammate, so that he could share the gold medal with him. That is an amazing gesture...and I am not sure that any other athlete would have done that. Phelps said that he is enjoying the personal spotlight, but he hopes that it brings attention to the sport of swimming, not just for him...and for me, that works. I am much more interested in swimming than I was a week ago...and that is all due to Michael Phelps.

and let's talk about gymnastics. I think it is an amazing and incredibly difficult sport. I used to do a smidge of gymnastics when I was a kid....until I started getting taller and taller...and I realized I was quite afraid of heights! I can't even imagine being able to do what those athletes do, both the women and the men.

And poor Paul Hamm...the kid who came from behind to win a gold medal on the all around. And then...the controversy comes....he is told that the Korean athlete wasn't scored correctly and he should have won. Now he is being told he doesn't deserve his medal and that he should be a bigger person and give the medal back. So, do I think he should give the medal back? No, I don't. One..it isn't his place. The Olympic committee should make that decision and not put it on Paul. They said that they can't change the medals, but that Paul could give it back. Come on..make a decision and stick with it. And secondly...yes, the judges made mistakes, but if you continue to review the tapes...the Korean athlete made another error which wasn't scored and he could have finished in fourth. So, you can't look back. Paul Hamm was Gold. He is a Gold medalist....and nothing should be said differntly, in my opinion.

And I am also watching sports such as track and field, beach volleyball (where the US women are doing SO well), basketball (where the men are losing all over the place), diving (where is scary as all hell to me), and many other sports. I thought I was going to think the Olympics were boring...but, I couldn't be more wrong. I have enjoyed watching the events...and have been really proud of the US showing so far.