Well as these Olympic games have progressed we’ve seen the amazing feats of swimmer Michael Phelps and that of track star Usain Bolt. To say that these stupifying feats are amazing would be an understatement. Phelps in surpassing Mark Spitz’s 8 gold medals (’72) in one Olympics has been the rage of the first week of the Beijing Olympics. With the six gold medals won at the Athens’ Olympics in 2004 , Phelps’ total now stands at an astonishing fourteen gold medals. Making him the greatest Olympian athlete in terms of the success garnered by way the medals tallied.
Phelps seen here in a collage of eight pictures featuring each of the medals won at the 24th Olympiad in Beijing , China. picture appears courtesy of ap/reuters ………..
Enter stage right and we have the young Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt electrify the audience inside the Bird’s Nest , Olympic stadium in Beijing , China. His winning the men’s 100m in a world record time left the world amazed with his sheer athletic speed and grace. But what we were able to witness today was totally beyond most people’s imagination. As once again Bolt was able to show why he’s considered the fastest human being on the planet. Usain Bolt has now ascended into pantheon of Olympic track history with his latest feat of athletic achievement by shattering Michael Johnson’s world record of 19.60 from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Bolt’s time of 19.32 lowered the record by 28/100th’s of a second. In achieving the sprint double Bolt has now joined a select few male track athletes to have achieved the men’s sprint double and at the same time breaking the world record in both events.
Bolt in his epic and record breaking run in the men’s Olympic 200m final at the Beijing OIympics. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Mark Goldston ………..
And with the heroics of Phelps in the first week of the games the worldwide viewing public were in the hope of seeing something spectacular during the second week. And how astonished we were as Bolt played to the crowd and made us all in awe of his athletic prowess. If nothing else it enticed us all in seeing what was capable by an athlete if they set their mind to it. And for Bolt he’s entertained to such a degree we’re waiting on for encore. Having achieved that elusive Olympic double. Bolt will be a part of the men’s Olympic 4x100m relay team. With the US men’s team seemingly having struggled thus far for semblance of success on the track. It can be said that their only redemption on the track may well come from the fact that they’ll be able to redeem themselves in the relay events. The only event where they’ve attained some acceptable form of sucess has been in the 400m hurdles where they swept the opposition with 1-2-3 finish in the event.
Bolt signifies his number one status whilst seated by the onfield timing device denoting his world record time of 19.30 seconds. picture appears courtesy of afp/Mark Goldston …..
With the games reaching its culmination on the 25th of August one can only hope that the entertainment provided thus far by these two outstanding athletes, can be emulated by others who’ll follow suit. As it is the games can be at times become monotonous and all too consuming . The track & field events asides and that of Phelps’ exploits in the pool and those Bolt’s in the 100 m and 200m . Can we actually say that we’ve been thoroughly entertained by what we’ve witnessed ? Phelps and Bolt have both left an indelible mark on our psyche that we’ll be unable to forget immediately. But in time we’ll be looking elsewhere for our next piece of palatable excitement.
Bolt crosses the finishing line during the men’s 200m finals. His time of 19.32 seconds set a new world and Olympic record. In achieving the sprint double Bolt joins an impressive list of athletes Carl Lewis , Valeri Borzov of Russia and and the late Jesse Owens. picture appears courtesy of reuters/Kim Yung-Hoon …………….
That being said the coverage being provided by NBC has proven somewhat sugar coated and indifferent at times. The on air interviews have proven to be anything but insightful as the questions posed have bordered on the ridiculous. It certainly begs the question do any of the on air commentators actually possess a modicum of intelligence ? NBC’s morning personalities in the guise of Matt Lauer , Meredith Viera , Anne Curry and Al Roker whilst in China have performed like circus bears. As for the primetime coverage under the auspices of Bob Costas and Jim Lampley. Knowledgeable as they are I for one would prefer that they actually come out of their comfort zone and stop mugging for the cameras . As if they both expect to be up for an Emmy nomination for their work. If they were being judged on performance alone most certainly the marks rendered by the judges for either aren’t likely to be favorable. And having purchased the US rights as the sole provider of the broadcast for the Olympics . The monies spent by the network may well be seemingly expedient but the quality of the broadcast itself on appearance for want of a better word has been anything but of a high quality.
Kobe Bryant of the United States and Chris Anstey of Australia contest a ball under the basket during their respective team’s quarterfinal matchup. The United States would go on to eliminate the Australians winning the game 116-85 . They will now go on to face Argentina in a semi final matchup. picture appears courtesy of afp/getty images/ Filippo Monteforte ………………
And save but for the exploits of Phelps , Bolt , the US gymnasts and that of the so anointed Redemption Team. Can we really expect anything more ?