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« Lots to Talk About | Main | Craziness »

August 13, 2008



Sara, it's nice to have you come up for air and give us a new place to comment. Glad you are busy! Sorry you can't get into the O's - I grew up in a family where the Olympics were the ONLY sports EVER watched. I've clearly outperformed my entire family of origin in both watching and participating in sports. (As a family, we never did anything more active than going to the zoo.) I can remember watching Bob Beamon's record-smashing long jump with my mom. And watching all kinds of sports we knew very little about. I never dreamed at that time that I'd be running marathons and doing some fairly serious cycling some day!

LOVED seeing (what little we saw of) Kristin winning the TT today!

I was so far behind, I printed and read all 89 of our comments today while getting iced in PT. There are a lot of things I wanted to reply to or comment on, but I just don't have Susie's energy. (Not only did you leave long FUN comments here, but you really got your rant out over on MD's!)

One observation - two related ones, actually - about the US gymnastics teams. I LOVED seeing the men so joyously hug one another when they won the bronze. It was such a genuine expression of joy and team-ness. Not too long ago a bunch of guys wouldn't have done that. I'm also happy to see the women (hard to call them that, they may be 16, but they are girls!) doing a better job than the no-eye-contact perfunctory hugs they were giving each other in the past 2 Games. I'd rather see them ignore each other than lip-synch a hug.


Why the divers shower after their dives.


If you saw any of the tt coverage that gal in red helping Kristin and Levi was my friend/roommate Brenda! I got up at 1AM to cover it, think I was a little brain dead most of the day, but it was cool to see Levi on the podium. He's supposed to call me tomorrow for a little interview and he will be on the TODAY show Thur morning.

LOVE beach volleyball. If you ever get a chance to go in person, do it. It's like a gigantic beach party, loud music, cheers, fun! Love the USA women's teams....all four gals really great role models for young women.

And USA women tied with Italy in water polo....not as good as a win but way better than a loss. Kami got a couple more goals--she's showing great form and is the youngest on the team.

Did you see the kayaker that won the medal for Togo? First medal for his country ever! How cool is that?! And the young American swimmer that has testicular cancer but opted to postpone his treatment until after the Olympics. He wanted to be an Olympian...who can blame him?! And Lezak swims in the relay again...go Gauchos!!

susie b

Hey, I got to see Levi & Kristen Armstrong on 'The Today Show' this morning! And a snippet of Levi receiving his medal & that was so cool.

Also, RANT WARNING - if you want to see doping in swimming, look no further than the Chinese women swimmers last night. It's not just their bodies that look "remarkably" similar to the now proven Chinese swimmer-dopers of the late 80s-early 90s, it's also that just like back then, no one in the international swimming world has even heard of those women & they go 1-2 in the 200 Butterfly. And get Silver in the 4x200 RELAY. Yeah, right. I've been reading about the Chinese GOVERNMENT doping programs for the past 2 years on various sport doping websites, so I was just waiting to see it for myself. Between & the weightlifting & the swimming, I'm not sure which is more obvious/disgusting. Plus, the world now knows that govt will BLATANTLY LIE & BREAK ANY RULE so as to win the medal count. For a country obessed with 'face', I now see that country as having NO FACE in regards to true & fair competition let alone the Olympic spirit.

And just fyi, synchro swimming has not even begun. The prelims don't start til next Monday.


They have PRELIMS for synchro swimming?


I was just watching the womens gymnastics team finals last night...those chinese girls are SO freakin young...some are missing teeth for crying out what age do your baby teeth fall out and you get your permenant ones? 10 to 12? And it's sad that the IOC's take on it is 'the Chinese gov supplied passports, and all the girls ages are ok...and thats good enough for us'. Even Bella Karoli in his final wrap up on the event says it's too bad they USE under-age girls, but it is what it is, and that no matter how else you slice it, they were better. Funny how THAT kind of cheating is ok to the IOC, but doping isn't.

And the Chinese mens team...some of the moves they do were considered impossible just a few years back (the brute strength on the rings for example, where they go from one nearly impossible position to the next purely on strength, no other motion needed). But they were really incredible..thats for sure. I also recall that the Chinese coach had said that it is 'expected' that they will win ALL the golds...ANYTHING LESS is total failure on his and the teams part. And the coaches had to sign a CONTRACT with the gov that their athletes won't get pressure on the coach there. Oops...he hurt himself doing a new impossible (before now) move...coaches fault. But hey...don't want to hear that...just WIN at all cost, but no injuries. Winning is EVERYTHING!

I would have to wonder what the anti-doping testing for their entire olympic team consists of on a year-round many tests (both in and out of competition), what they looked for, which lab does the tests..stuff like that.

but hey...enough crying over spilt' milk...move on and enjoy. The games are still awesome. And I'm getting exhausted trying to keep up. Man...not even one WEEK into much more to go...ALL the track and field! Woo-HOO!!!


Well, I am thoroughly ready to see something other than swimming/diving/beach volleyball.
I have always liked seeing the less popular sports (including the equestrian) but I seem to be missing them this year.
I stayed up to see the last group start of the men's TT but couldn't make it to the finish. Watched it later on the 'puter---YAY LEVI!!! Loved how thrilled Cancellera and Larsen clearly were--Levi doesn't show it so much (sometimes I wonder if he is afraid to show it, or maybe he was more hiding disappointment). Missed him on the today show.
Now it doesn't appear that they will show any of the track events at all!

Don't you all think that over-the-line would make a good olympic sport?

susie b

Rae - according to the Washington Post's Olympic TV Schedule, much of the track cycling will be on the USA network between 2am-2pm & this weekend (S&S) on NBC-main sometime bewteen 10am-6pm. Have you found something that said it won't be shown at all? Matt Lauer even did a segment AT the Track this morning! He was in the full USA team kit & trying not to fall over. :)

I'm not a huge fan of the synchro diving, but I can't wait to see the solo divers. Especially on the Platform! I think solo divers can do harder dives as they don't need to worry about the synchro.

My only real complaint with NBC's Olympic coverage is that they should broadcast on the other NBC channels during Primetime the sports they won't show on NBC-main. Because I'm missing all the stuff on MSNBC & CNBC & USA during the weekdays & really would like to see some of those events, taped, live, I don't care! But I doubt they'd do that as it would lower the main network's nightly ratings. And I would have liked to have seen the ENTIRE gymnastic team competition, with all the various teams, but with only so many on-air minutes, there's just not enough time on NBC when they need to show all/most of the swimming events. I'll watch it later online, but I wanted to TAPE it! At least they showed a LOT of the Men's All Around last night, even if I did drift off around 1:00am. (Thankfully, I had the tape running when I drifted off!) I then jerked awake around 1:40 & when it was still on, I 1st thought it was the Primetime Repeat they broadcast every day & almost stopped the tape. :)


Thanks, Susie--I had looked at the NBC Olympic website and the search for broadcast times came up with nada.


Thanks for checking in with us, Sara. Is Grace into gymnastics or anything like that yet? While watching the competition lat night my daughter started doing somersaults and jumping around the living room. She was inspired :)

I think you're dead on about the Chinese gymnasts, Matt -- tiny pre-pubescent girls and inCREDibly strong men performing unheard of moves... It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but I still love to watch the competition.

AND.......WOOOOO HOOOOOO! Nastia and Shawn just took gold and silver in the women's all-around tonight! What a nail-biter it was!!! Those two performed just *beautifully* under a TON of pressure and I'm so proud of them.

I'd love to see some of the track racing, too, though I don't understand it as well as I'd like :)

susie b

WHAT a night! 1st, Michael, Ryan Lochte, Rebecca Soni sweep up Gold in the pool & then the American girls go 1-2 in the Gymnastics All-Around! :) :)

However, it was actually a bit strange for me when I was watching the gymnastics, as I was thrilled & heartsick at the SAME time! I wanted BOTH Shawn & Nastia to win. :) And as fabulous as I think Nastia was last night & deserves the Gold, I think Shawn's scores were lowballed on EVERY event. And some of the other non-American gymnasts' (i.e the 'home team') scores much too "generous" (as they say in the gymnastic world). I'm not saying it was some kind of conspiracy to keep Shawn from winning, but it seemed odd.

Anyway, both of those girls are so fantastic & represent their families & country so well. I was actually humbled when I listened to them speak immediately after. You just know Shawn's heart had to be broken & yet, she was so happy for her friend Nastia & happy for her own accomplishment, well, I was just verklempt.

I should probably confess to you that I am a MAJOR wuss. Whenever Shawn or Nastia would perform, I'd HIDE my eyes & just listen til I knew the outcome. Pathetic but I just can't help it. I did tape everything & already went back to see all the routines last night AFTER the Primetime show ended. Plus, NBC & the commentators replayed most of the routines immediately, so I didn't miss anything. I completely understand why Nastia's mother wasn't in the stands! I'd probably faint or have a heart attack if I was a parent in that situation.

And I've kind of refrained from chatting about Michael here EVERY day, as I know I've probably been a tad unbearable the entire past YEAR talking about him. But.... isn't he INCREDIBLE?!! Everytime he gets in the pool, I barely exhale until he hits the wall. (At least I DO watch him LIVE ;) Only one more individual event & the final relay. At least for this moment, I'd say Michael is the biggest superstar in the entire WORLD. As thrilled as I was to watch Mark Spitz in 72, Michael suprassed him just by qualifying in all those events for a 2ND Olympics. And for him to do what he's doing in Beijing, well, words fail. Sorry Neal, but Michael's stealing your 'theme song' - "Ain't No Other Man..." :) :)


I'm bummed...didn't see a LICK of the TT...finished going thru about 100 hours of TIVO from the last 2 days...that sucks! I sure hope to catch some of the track racing (indivual pursuit and such)...I also don't know a whole lot about it, but if it's anything like the speed skating pursuit (Remember Apollo Ono?)...where there are 4 guys going AT IT on a super short course...well, that is about the most exciting event I can think of in the winter Olympics! To do that on bikes would be very awesome indeed!

I did catch Michael Grand-Master of the pool Phelps getting his 6th Gold this morning before work in the 200 IM...he looks like the massive schedule he's laid out is taking it's toll. It's like we now EXPECT him to set a new WR every time he swims a final (along w/ getting the gold, of course). Sure hope he can pull it's certainly a lofty goal, not likely to be beaten in our lifetimes. And he just seems like SUCH a nice guy! (I like it when he's on the podium, EVERY time they play the Natnl Anthem, he has his hand over his we were taught in grade school/kindegarten way back when...don't see too much of that these days). He's surely in a class of his own as a sports role model for very REFRESHING!!!! Maybe after this is all over, he and Mark Spitz can go to dinner or something in private and just yak it up about things...I wish I still had the S.I. with the picture of Mark on the cover wearing his 7 good to see them together doing that. (how IS Mark Spitz doing these days? You don't hear anything about him...I would figure he'd BE there in Beijing to watch this in person..and surely I'd think the Media would be tearing his door down to talk to him...he surely seems to have shunned the media thus far).

I was really rooting for the mens gymnasts last night, but they couldn't quite pull it off to match the Chinese guy...he surely brought his 'A' game to the all-around finals and was awesome to watch! I was really hoping Horton would step it up and do what we know he's capable of...but he just couldn't quite bring it on.

OK..enough for now...gotta actually do some WORK for crying out loud..whats up with that? Don't they know it's OLYMPICS time??? Have a great weekend everybody!


Mark Spitz has DEFinitely been around! He has done some really nice interviews both on the evening show and on the Today show. He seems like a really great guy and is genuinely thrilled for Michael! Nice to see. And you're so right -- I was commenting to my husband about how wonderful it is to have such a gracious winner in Phelps. He seems like a really amazing person as well as an exceptional athlete. Keep cheering Susie -- you're working wonders so far ;)

Listening to the two young gymnasts brought tears to my eyes, also, and I really think that their attitude (like Phelps') is really what the Olympics are all about. I'm SO pleased for them all.

Well, I'm off to Chicago for my girl's weekend with T, Cat, and Nikki, which should be really fun. Hope we can all keep up with T ;)

susie b

MIIIIIICHAEEEEELLLLL! The Magic Man! Or as I now affectionately think of him - The Heart Attack Kid! :) :) :)

Just saw the update but have not yet seen the (track) Men's 100. And the winner reminds me of one of MY fave sport quotes (also of many sports journos, which means I'm betting I'll see it at LEAST 3-5 times in the articles about this race I'll print later today), courtesy Ben Johnson -
"The gun go off, the race be over". :)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Dara AND Michael & 'the boys' tonight. And am also looking forward the rest of weekend & week for the Gymnastics Events Finals (come onnnn, Alicia! :), the Track & Field events, medal rounds/matches of the 'team' sports & yes, people, the Rythmic Gymnastics. It's basically DANCE, but with ribbons, hoops, balls, clubs, all sprinkled with gymnastic moves! What's not to love? And I've NEVER seen the GROUP event that's now in the Olympics & am downright GIDDY to see what it's all about. Ohhh, be quiet. :) Just be happy I'm not boring you with a trip down memory lane & the summers I did a little SYNCHRO....


The #9 USA men's water polo team beat #1 Croatia today--it was a HUGE upset! And they beat them by 2 goals I think, in regulation play. It was very cool. The coach now is Olympian Terry Schroeder, who I happened to see win silver in LA in 1984. Later my son went to his water polo camp at he's the USA coach! And his bronze "body" is still in front of the stadium in LA 24 years later and his boys are ripping it up in Beijing. Hopefully they swim into the medal round--any medal would be amazing for them!


What I want to know is, when did trampoline become an Olympic sport? I was at work yesterday, and glanced up at the tv and said, "What the?"


Did y'all see the US Women's Eight win? Very exciting - and they were so elated! I loved seeing them on the medal stand, singing the Anthem - you could actually hear the words.

In the Phila. newspaper, someone wrote a letter to the editor bemoaning the fact that so few of the athletes sing the anthem on the podium. She thinks it's shameful, and assumes it's because our schools aren't teaching it and they don't know the words. Now, really. I can think of several reasons an athlete might not be singing - if it were me, I know that starting to sing would have me in a mess of tears by the end of the first line.

Don't you love the bicyles going along the side of the water during the rowing events? They're coaches! The first time I saw them, I had a moment of thinking we were in Philly, where we ride along the river all the time, including when there are rowing events going on. (The illusion was enhanced by the similar rainy weather in both cities that day.)

Trampoline became an Olympic sport in 2000 in Sydney. What I've never been aware of before is that they now call "regular" gymnastics ARTISTIC gymnastics to differentiate it.

Dara Torres looks AWESOME! Is it me, or is it the suits, or do most of the female swimmers and divers look soft around the shoulders? I know they're in shape, maybe it's just because a lot of women don't get "cut" like men do, but it's not a good look. Dara has been doing a much more serious weight training - I want to look like her!


I thought of something kind of cool last night after Phelps did his thing. Some of us here at Sara's site are old enough to remember Mark Spitz get his 7, and now we've seen Michael get his 8, too....that's pretty amazing! I remember those 1972 Olympics so well, the horrible tragedy of the murders in the dorm, but the victories of Spitz were bright moments in those sad times. Can't believe it's only been one week of Olympics head is swimming with sports. And Rafa won the gold in men's tennis....another huge victory for Spain! And Serena and Venus got the gold in doubles and the two of them were more excited than I've ever seen them about anything. I'm not usually a big fan of theirs, but they were jumping up and down about their win, very proud.


Yes, I loved the way one sister's (I don't know which) face was just shining on the podium as the anthem was played. I love the competition, but I appreciate the emotions too.
Didn't Dara Torres work with Billy Blanks during her last hiatus? Maybe we should haul out those Tai-Bo tapes again! I would have so loved for her to take gold, but woo-hoo, silver and SO close!

Did you see about Niki Terpstra? Riding on the way to the velodrome, crashed and broke BOTH forearms. How crazy is that, even getting to the event is so dangerous?

Pepe Lepew

This is why I love Texas!


Great GADZOOKS what a weekend! I was up past midnight last night catching up...Michael Phelps is the man!! I really thought he lost it in the 100 fly...but the other dude glided the half stroke where Michael took the half stroke (quite a gamble on both parts) win it by 1/100'th of a sec...YIKES!! And then for Dara Tores to LOSE her 50m free by the same 1/100'th of a sec...I was SO rooting for her! But she was out-touched just like the guy Michael beat...such is the sport...there is some amount of luck in every event...if one person is right in full extension of a stroke at the wall they can beat someone who is ahead of them but is at the unfortuanete half-stroke away thing...less likely in free and backstroke due to each arm being and breast it happens often. I saw the satellite phone interview w/ Mark Spitz after the 7th gold by Michael...boy he is very well spoken and looks good! First I've managed to see of him in a while...he was very gracious (a true champion, even all these years later...and yes, I remember watching HIS 7 golds in 72...though the haunting images of the guys in full hoods with guns still are the sad memories that come to my mind of those games).

OK...gotta get to more later....SO MUCH to talk about!


Pepe LePew, huh?

Teachers bringing guns to class is "just common sense" - wow.


Men's Water Polo!!!! If they show any of the USA vs Germany on prime time tonight give it a quick look. It's quite a game and the announcers do a great job of explaining water polo in layman's terms. Good stuff!

susie b

Alicia was robbed. And I'm exhausted. I've been getting, at most, 3-4 hours of sleep a day for the last 10 & I'm starting to DREAM I'm in a pool, playing badminton...with Michael Phelps, Dara Torres & Shawn Johnson! ;)

And wow, this is the worst start to Track & Field for the American Olympic team I can ever remember. If doping doesn't kill off American interest in this sport then losing will.

I saw a ton of various sports yesterday. Haven't seen the Water Polo yet but did read about that upset Cathy & KNEW you'd be THRILLED! I hope to catch them in action the next couple days. IF I can stay awake. Not that WP is boring! Just that I'm soooooo tired.

Just FYI Matt - during the 1ts week of the Olympics, Spitz gave a LOT of interviews, including a pre-Beijing taped one I saw on NBC Nightly news. He did NOT come off so well in those. To say the LEAST! Almost the entire American media then rightfully raked him over the coals for being a whiny, petty, self-absorbed ass & wha-lah, Spitz 2.0 emerges. I was a huge, HUGE Mark Spitz fan in 1972 & had that poster on the back of my bedroom door for 2 YEARS. But, I also remember reading at the time that he was an arrogant SOB, who was not even liked by his teammates. Why do I remember SO well? Because I just didn't want to believe my 1st sport crush was less than perfect. Anyway, I am glad Spitz did say the things to & about Michael he finally did on national TV, but whether he actually believes any of it is a different story.

And Barbara, most people probably don't know, but what we think of as "regular" gymnastics has officially been called 'Artistic Gymnastics' at least for the past 24 years. Possibly before, but 1984 was the year I got my 1st Olympic facts & figures book & I saw that name on the Table of Contents & wondered what the hell it was. :)

And yes, they give one one hundredth & they take one one hundredth. :) Those swimming gods have a sense of humor. :)

I also think Dara looks AMAZING! While her face showed the years a bit, I think her body was even BETTER than in 2000!

What I would love to see in 2012 is Dara on the NBC swimming broadcast team - SHE could do all those poolside interviews! Or maybe be up in the booth along with Dan & Rowdy, at least during the women's events.

Also, my girl Katie didn't have the best Olympics but I'm thinking this just sets her up to be the female swimming version of Dan Jansen in London. You go, girl! :)

I was very impressed with Natalie Coughlin & that one Aussie - Stephanie Rice, who had the Olympics that I hoped/imagined Katie would. And whether she peaked too early at the Trials, or just took on too much, I think it was the expectation that Katie was expected to be the 'Phemale Phelps' that kept her from being what she can be. But she's still pretty damn great. All those athletes are!

Well, except Usain Bolt. What an ASS! Before the Games & especially since Tyson Gay injured himself at the US Trials, Bolt was my pick to be the probable winner. What a jerk! Well, at least that American men's Relay team from a few Olympics ago is NO longer the poster boys for WORST SPORTSMANSHIP.


Hey Susie, I hadn't seen any of the early Mark Spitz stuff...guess I was too busy swooping over all the 'fluff' at HIGH SPEED on the TIVO, just trying to catch the main events. I don't know how you do it (staying SO on top of it...I'm totally beat today). I agree totally on Dara Tores..she is AWESOME and looks PHENOMANAL!!! (Me-OWWWWWW!!!) Good for her...(though it kind of takes away from MY excuse of being too old to do stuff...thanks Dara!) I didn't see too much Track & Field yet...(catching up on swimming, volleyball and gymnastics). however...the womens 10K?? Anybody watch that? (the American Shalane Flannagan took bronze)...did you SEE the woman from Turkey? Gosh...that pretty much throws out any proconception of what a runner should look like. If you draw a stick woman, put a running outfit on her...thats what I thought of as she LED the entire freakin way until the last half lap when the Ethopian woman passed her. She was amazing!! (and if I saw her on the street I'd want to BUY her a cheeseburger!) I can't BELIEVE that she is a world class SILVER MEDAL winning runner! I guess heart counts for so much more than one would think!

I also caught the mens beach vb match where Rogers/Dalhausser almost lost to the swiss team..what a scare! And the ladies...I haven't seen anything from yesterday, but I"m really hoping that Elain Youngs and her partner Nicole Branaugh can hold on and go to the gold medal match, and that they play May and Walsh...(didn't they play that match in Athens, only one game sooner?) I would love to see Youngs get her shot at a gold this time around..she is such a fighter!!

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