Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing 2008 wrap-up: The where are all the haters now, eh edition

Day 11

Your daily Olympic wrap-up.

Notable Canadian performance: Simon Whitfield: If you are tired of the “well I did my personal best” lines by the Canadians then you should love Whitfield. Excellence. Competing to win. Intensity. Those are the words he uses to describe his goals. Although he’s a soft-spoken guy, he’s a fierce competitor that doesn’t play to finish top eight.

The endurance events are often the most difficult to predict since there are so many intangibles. That Whitfield was able to run to the podium while dealing with the suffocating pressure we tend to put on our medal hopes is an amazing accomplishment. With the win he’s put himself on the short list of greatest Canadian Olympian ever.

Notable international performance: He Chong– The diver was a bloody robot in roasting the field for gold. Even though it was a Canadian that finished second, you couldn’t help but be impressed with his total dominance.

Maple Leaf gold: Speaking of that diving Canadian…Alexandre Despatie: He overcame injury earlier in this year and poor early form to be the best of all those not named He Chong…which was all any of the non-robots could hope for on the day.

Maple Leaf silver: Adam van Koeverden - Again. All The Great Canadian Hope did today was go out and set a world’s best time in the 500m heats. No pressure Adam. There are only 33 million people that need you to win.

Maple Leaf bronze: Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep: Yes, I know that it’s the same silver and bronze today as yesterday, but she did win Canada’s first track medal in 12 years. And the where-the-hell-did-that-one-come-from bronze is always a highlight of any Games.

Bonus points are earned for being Dwayne De Rosario’s cousin too.

Maple Leaf tin medal: No one: That was as good a day as this country ever has in the Olympics. I will give a tin medal to the trampoline judges who jobbed Jason Burnett out of a gold medal because the Chinese fans cheered loudly. Seriously, how hard would it be to put judges in a sound proof area. Also, are we close to being able to produce technology that would enable judges to watch performances on a digital TV screen with all identifying marks removed?

The WTF was the Ceeb thinking award: When Lopes-Schliep crossed the line it appeared that she had medaled(slowing the ole’ PVR down revealed that she was at worse third—and it still looks like she was second), but yet you wouldn’t have known that Canada was about to break a 12-year track medal drought by the commentary. The entire focus was on the American that won. It’s understood that the Ceeb shouldn’t slip into the jingoistic style of NBC, but they could spend a second to let biewers know tha a Canuck medal may be coming.

Canadian highlight for day 12: The fastball team can medal with a win against Australia. If they do, it will be Canada’s first team medal in the summer games since 19 bloody 36 (and that barely counts since it was basketball and there was only two teams that could play the sport at the Games. So, it was like women’s hockey, I guess) They play ball early tomorrow morning.

International highlights for day 12: I was incorrect yesterday in saying that the 200m was today. So, yeah. The 200m. Bolt. Match race with Phelps. That again.

1 comment:

Dennis Prouse said...

Surely one of your international highlights for today will include German weightlifter Mattias Steiner. You would need a heart of stone not to be moved by the scene of him posing with his gold medal, bouquet, and the photo of his late wife. (She was apparently killed in a car crash last year.)