Olympics, the past, the present and the fantastic
Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on August 25, 2008
Yesterday, while I was savouring the Olympics closing ceremony on BBC, I had to stomach the nagging statement that Michael Johnson (from the US of A) made. He has my respect as an accomplished retired athlete in his very own right. But the comments he made come across to me as either spoil sport or sour grape. He looked upon the world records that have been shattered in the Beijing Olympics with a certain degree of contempt. Yes, in his opinion that the swimmers broke new world and Olympic records because the event organisers cheekily made the pool deeper and wider so as to reduce drag brought upon by the bouncing off of turbulent waves in the wake of a swimmer’s path. But if he had read article from New Scientist, he would have noticed another counter-argument; that the athletes are unlikely to be affected by their own drag induced turbulence because they are too fast for the reflected waves to catch up with the swimmers anyway. There are also many pools with 3m depth world-wide, holding world swimming events.
Then he went on to nag about swimmers having better drag reducing swimsuits, sprinters having better shoes, lalalala…… (he is still supportive of Usain Bolt). I mean, don’t these Olympians benefit from the application of science itself on their performances? Why then is Michael Johnson uptight about most of the records that have been broken in Beijing? Did he consider maybe juxtaposing himself to the fastest (bare-footed) Olympics sprinter in ancient Greece?
He stopped short at complimenting Beijing for its efforts, predictably like CNN, bullishly harping on human rights, bladeblabla without comprehension of the historical, cultural and philosophical differences that separates the East from the West. Maybe if he reads a little bit more about Confucius teaching, his statement wouldn’t be so blunt…… I have to praise BBC reporters ON THAT DAY though, for appraising the strengths and the weaknesses of the whole Olympics event without bias.
This Olympics has also been a milestone for the world when it comes to equality. Woohoo to Matthew Mitcham, I would think that this is the first openly gay Olympian from Australia who won the men’s 10 metre diving defeating the hotly favoured Chinese. This is the guy who overcame depression, coming to terms with his sexuality and suffering from burn out almost 2 years ago. He scored 4 perfect 10s in his final dive, which happened to be the most difficult dive. I am truly impressed. Not only that, the Chinese crowd and I was truly enchanted and captivated by his adorable toothpaste advertisement smile. Well done, Matt, I hope to see him 4 years from now at the London Olympics. Argh, with that smile, I just want to run there, GRAB him, give him a big bear hug and plant a kiss on each side of his cheek. Darn, I also get all emotional when I saw him win it. For more info, read here.
Another Olympian that impressed me was Nastia Liukin. Yes, yes, she may be 2nd best gymnast in the world, the first being Shawn Johnson, I still prefer Nastia Liukin. I saw her performance on balance beam, I actually thought she was performing ballet on balance beam! So graceful and beautiful! Judges say Shawn Johnson is more technically perfect and gifted than Nastia Liukin. I don’t have a darn clue about techniques but I like what I saw when Nastia Liukin performed. She was a silver medallist on balance beam….. Anyway, she won gold for the all-around competition, so I am happy. I wish to see her performance again at the London 2012 Olympics! Oh did I say that she is very pretty too?! And those legs, MAMA MIA! Please come back Nastia! Wait, who is that 13-14 year old Chinese girl standing just beside her during the medal ceremony?
Now that the Olympics had been drawn to a close, I am left to reflect all the good and bad that happened during the past two weeks and more. I absolutely love the closing ceremony, it was slightly unfortunate though that I missed the opening ceremony……I am also truly impressed and touched by a large number of contemporary media, journalists and ordinary citizens from all over the world who stood by the justification that Beijing Olympics has been the right decision after-all in spite of all the ‘Rupert Murdoch’-like propaganda. There is always hope for emancipation from the neo-cons.