I was in D.C. for the relay that Phelp's should have lost - when Jason Lezak came back in the last 25 meters to help bring the 2nd gold for Phelps. Christie and I were on our feet, fists in the air, screaming at the tv...at 10:45pm...with her roommates trying to sleep. Donna came out, she thought we'd saw a mouse or something because we were freaking out so much....but not as much as Michael :)
Can't find a picture of the race Phelps won by 1/100th of a second - but it was stinkin' amazing. Watching it in slow motion was ridiculous, the 2nd place swimmer was inches away from the wall when Phelps took another stroke to out-touch him. Amazing....was also off the couch and on my feet on that one.
I was at Iowa when Nancilea (Underwood) Foster was part of our 24/7 leadership team. I had heard she was going back to Texas to train for the Beijing Olympics, but I really thought I heard she made it as an alternate. Come to find out, I was wrong. She dove on the 3meter springboard and it was just crazy to think someone I knew and spent some time with at our leadership retreat (we weren't super friends, just had a few conversations with her) was there competing at the Olympics. Fun stuff.
Alicia Sacramone had a rough time in the team competition - falling off the beam, stepping out of bounds on floor.
Now, this isn't probably very nice - but these are 'highlights' of my Olympics 2008 experience - and watching gymnastics with friends one night, someone made the observation that Nastia Liukin always looks pissed or unhappy unless she's winning something....there is a little truth to that:
(Nastia got gypped out of a gold on bars due to a tie breaker)Out of this (and probably not the first time) - her nickname was born: 'Nasty-(a) Lookin'. I'm truly sorry Nastia, I'm still a fan and supporter, but I have to admit - it made me laugh. And now when I say "Nastia", I can't help but say it with an unnecessary accent.
Nastia, all smiles on the podium:And after 3 silvers, Shawn gets gold on beam.Controversy over the Chinese girls - are they 16? Their passports say so, but records turned up confirming at least 1 of the 3 girls in question is only 14. Could that mean the USA's silver could turn to gold? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...
I was definitely one of those people who stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the medal rounds and finals of most of the events - sleep can be overrated (except when you're trying to stay awake while driving to work only 6 hours later!!)
I'm not one to be overly patriotic, but when it came to the Olympics, it was another story. I was not one to root for the Chinese - all that hype about having to win more medals - except when it came to the rings, I just couldn't help myself. That's my favorite apparatus (sweet word :) ) for the men - the Chinese are just awesome.
Yeng Wei - just a cutie-pa-tootie :) I think I may have a small crush:
Track & Field
I was super rooting for Des Moines' Lolo Jones - she rocked out the semifinals, but as everyone knows by now, she clipped the 9th hurdle in the finals and got 7th place. It was heartbreaking to watch her reaction. She remained humble during her interview afterward, but then the camera showed her off crying by herself. It made me sad and frustrated and I wished the media would've just let her have that moment alone off camera.
Usain Bolt also dominated his events - but I couldn't get over how cocky he acted - slowing down, looking around, pounding his chest - all before he even crossed the finish line. What a punk. But he can still run fast.
Two-time Olympic Gold medalists - this was an awesome match to watch (I couldn't believe how tall the Chinese players were). The men's gold medal match was a nail-biter - went to 3 sets, but Dalhausser dominated the 3rd game with his blocks.
Last, but not least....the Olympic Mascots:
When I was in Beijing in January 2005, we saw posters for these mascots EVERYWHERE to promote the 2008 Olympics. I literally did not see the mascots shown on tv until Tuesday, week 2 - there was a clip about Chinese kites and on one of the kites were the images of these mascots:
Either I didn't pay attention earlier in the week or they just weren't as an important icon as I thought they would be.