Monday, August 18, 2008

Beijing 2008 wrap-up: The somewhere Big Ben is weeping sweet, sweet tears of joy edition

Day 10

Your daily Olympic wrap-up.

Notable Canadian performance: Karen Cockburn – It’s easy to make fun of the trampoline as Olympic sport. It seems a bit like they took a training apparatus from diving and decided to give out some medals. It’s also clear that it’s pretty much—like syncro diving—a TV add on, another “pretty” sport to bring in the estrogen crowd. But, you shouldn’t overlook the accomplishments of Cockburn who won her third Olympic medal today. Think of all the years that she put into a sport that barely is noticed outside of its 15 minutes each quadrennial—many of those years talking place prior to it being added to the Olympic program. When she medaled in ’00 it was easy to make the “Canada always gets medals in the new sports” joke (‘cause there is some truth to the joke), but eight years later I think it’s fair to suggest that she’s earned her respect.

Notable international performance: Elena Isinbaeva – The pole vaulter is just one of those athletes that is so far ahaed of her competition that she is really only competing with herself. Which is likely why she seemed more excited by breaking her world record with a 5.06m jump than she did by simply winning.

Maple Leaf gold: InStyle We all should be happy for grampa Miller and company, but, really. Let’s give credit where it’s due.

Maple Leaf silver:Adam Van Koeverden -
Yes it wsa just a heat, but had The Great Canadian Hope blew up real good it wouldn't have been the first time TGCH did so at an Olympics. So far so good (No pressure Adam. The whole country just needs you to justify their worth).

Maple Leaf bronze: Canadian Priscilla Lopes:
Lopes has shown remarkable improvement during the last four years ago to put herself into the Olympic final. The hurdles are a strange event. As Canadians learned four years ago and how China is learning today, you just never know what will happen. She probably doesn’t have enough speed to win a medal, but it wouldn’t be shocking if she did.

Maple Leaf tin medal: Tyler Christopher: By all accounts Christopher turns the old nice Canadian athlete that everyone loves cliché around. Basically, he can be a bit of an arrogant ass. So, if you were wondering why the CBC’s reaction to his blow-up in the heats was a bit muted, you’ve likely found your answer.

The WTF was the Ceeb thinking award:
To an untrained eye, every trampoline routine looks the bloody same. A little more analysis in the booth during the women’s final would have made the experience of watching far more enjoyable.

Honorary Canadian award: The Australian fastball team. After all they did what Canada couldn’t—get the Canucks into the medal round where a so far frustrating and forgettable tournament can be turned around with one more win.

Canadian highlights for day 11: Alexandre Despatie – He struggled in qualifying, but something says that he has one more great performance in him today in what may well be his last dive for Canada.

International highlight for day 11:Usain Bolt. He tries to double up in the 200m. I propose a 150m race between Michael Phelps and Bolt--75m in a pool, 75 m on land—to determine the Games best athlete. They could hold it in SkyDome.


eyebleaf said...

"International highlight for day 11:Usain Bolt. He tries to double up in the 200m. I propose a 150m race between Michael Phelps and Bolt--75m in a pool, 75 m on land—to determine the Games best athlete. They could hold it in SkyDome."

best. idea. ever.

Duane Rollins said...

From Neate, accidentally posted in the wrong comment section:

sager said...

Make it 100 metres on land, 50 m in the pool. Which would they do first ... because we all remember from our swim lessons that there's "no running near the pool!"

If Bolt trained really hard at the swimming for six weeks, could he build up enough of a lead over Phelps over 100 metres to hold him off over a 50 free -- and maybe we'd have Phelps swim his slowest stroke while Bolt was allowed to do freestyle.

Duane Rollins said...

If Bolt can swim at all, he would likely swim a 50m in...say, 1:05. Phelps would come in at 45 seconds.

So, maybe it would have to be 200m running, 50m swim--or 25m swim, 100m run.

Ok, now I want to see his!

Andrew Bucholtz said...

This needs to happen. Can we get Puma (Bolt) to work with Speedo (Phelps) and make it so? Think of the potential TV ratings/sponsorship revenue. They could bill it as Aquaman versus the Flash!

Duane's numbers can't be right, though. The world record in the 50 m is around 22 seconds, and the world record in the 100m freestyle is about 47 seconds, and Phelps doesn't hold it: Australia's Eamon Sullivan does. 100m freestyle is also one of the few events Phelps didn't compete in (but he did compete in the 100m freestyle relay, so he's obviously decent at it).

I think the best way to look at this is the National Post's Average Guy Games series. Their guy took 1:42:6 to swim the 100m freestyle (55 seconds worse than the record) and 17.2 seconds to run the 100m dash (about 8 seconds worse than the record). Thus, if we assume both are average at the other's sport (they're probably a bit better than average due to athletic bodies, but this is looking at the differential), you'd have to make the run six times as long as the swim to even things out. 25m swim, 150m dash anyone?

(By the way, I liked Darren Rovell's CNBC column suggesting that Bolt purposefully eased up to be able to break the record again and cash in down the road. Makes sense to me. He also suggested tongue-in-cheek that Bolt should try out for the NFL: wouldn't that be something to see?

eyebleaf said...

can we also make sure to get donovan bailey to do commentary/colour? i just want him to be there just in case someone pulls up he can say "he's a chicken!!!!"

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I say we start the push for this one now. This could be way better than Bailey/Johnson: they were both runners, just at different distances. This way, we'd get to watch Bolt flail in the pool and Phelps waddle down the track...