dinsdag 12 augustus 2008

Olympic heroes of the first week

Olympics are now almost one week old. And I am having rather a busy time with trying to keep up with them. Half of the time I seem to be too late. Due to the time difference I have to settle for latest news and surfing over the internet. The moments that I have spend in front of the telvision I was a witness of olympic history. Some of the highlights of the last days (before I start I have to point out that this is a personal selection!) were:

1. The synchronised divers in the Water Cube: just amazing to look at. While broadcasting it there should some words of caution in the corner to warn us not to try this out in your local swimming pool! Chen and Wang, Lin and Hua won the gold medals for China. But it was a little lad from about 150cm and 47 kilos who caught my attention. Tom Daly of Great Britain is only 14 and he dares to make circus jumps from that terrifying looking tower! His partner and he came in last but I am sure that when the Olympics take place in London (2012) he will stand on the highest podium as well!

2. Michael Phelps: okay he is a bit too much too handle but god can he swim. Appearently he has the perfect body to break all the records. The Baltimore Bullet wants to get it all. He wants to make sure he gets to Olympia for sure this time. And in order to make sure this dream will become true his first three golden tokens he has won along with a world record! I just wonder one thing what will this Bullet do when he has made it? Diving into a black hole perhaps! So perhaps settling for seven isn't that bad. London will welcome you with open arms!

3. The Chinese volunteers: the show must go on!! The opening show was just breathtaking!!! I have missed most of it due to a trip to a science museum with my son. But all the people I have spoken to agreed that it was a great show. My mother her favourite seqeunce: the computer. She pointed out that the Chinese must be brave people because if one had made one small mistake it would have been noticed by all. 'And you can be sure there was an official keeping an eye on them the whole time!', were her words. They also are the ones that are 'kindly' asked to fill in empty seats at certain events! So an extra round of applause for these people who make sure that there are enough fans to attend! But it was such a fun sight to see identical dressed ladies along the road cheering for the women cyclists! Perhaps they should have some extra clothes for these kind of jobs!

4. The Belgian Hockey team: they will not win a medal but they are true amateur players and god can they play for honor!! Their coach is an australian who made sure that these guys know why they are on Beijing soil. He made them sign a contract while they are living together in Olympic village. They have to take in consideration some rules of good conduct to make sure they stay focused. So they can't call to their children or wives in Belgian after the lights are turn down in the bedrooms. When I saw them at the beginning of the game against Spain singing our national anthem in two languages I was impressed with these guys with sticks!!! It has been a long time ago that I have seen belgian athletes singing it with so much power! Our prime Minister might get the DVD: success guaranteed!! When they keep up the good work for four more years they might play with the big guys! If they last then I am getting tickets for the 2012 Olympics and cheer for them with pompoms!!

5. Vincent Kompany and Mario Aerts: okay first mentioned has quite an attitude and a football player is rather a spoiled athlete! Vincent just made very clear that he regrets the fact that he is forced to go back home after two games in order to play for his home team Hamburg!!! Let us be honest what is more important attending the Olympics or playing local!!!???? Sad to hear that the Belgian officials couldn't reach an agreement and settle it for once and for all. The Hamburg football officials seemed to have more power. Vincent showed once more that the Olympics get under your skin!!
And I bet that Mario Aerts agrees with him. This cyclist who came in fifth confessed that he first doubted that the Olympics could add some to his life. It was again an australian, Cadel Evans, who made him see that the Olympics have that extra touch you are after in your carreer!! He now wants to become an even better athlete in the future and win a ride or two in the next Tour the France!!

6. The silver and bronze medal winners of the 10m air Pistol shooting event: It is said more then once these last years that politics and sports mingle at the Olympics. Well when you have seen the statement the Gregorian Salukvadze Nino and the Russian Paderina Natalia made when they got their medals was rather the opposite message! While the Russion troops were heading for Gregoria they made very clear to the world that it wouldn't affect their friendship and their sportsmanship. The two of them might be able to handle a gun very well but they only use it in a shooting alley!! Way to go girls, this is for sure real girl power!!!

I hope that the next few days will bring some more heroes. There are ofcourse also loosers. Belgium was so close to winning twice a bronze medal but I guess that this year we will have to settle for top 10. At least this year more athletes will have gotten into top 10 then the previous Olympics but one medal would make my Olympics sky a bit more brighter!!!

1 opmerking:

Patrick H. zei

- Let us not forget the first Chinese Olympic gold medal in Beijing: Mister Pang has been dominating the men's air pistol shooting on day 1 ... .

- You're absolutely right about the Aussies' Olympic dream. On the other hand, I hope Cadel will learn from the good old Belgian cycling personalities when he'll try to win the Tour de France 2009 ... and this time without all the stress that killed him this year.