Archive for 2008 Beijing Olympics

The Bulletin Board of Michael Phelps

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by nathanelwell

Michael Phelps has won 8 Gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, setting a new record for Gold medals in one Olympics.  There is no doubt that there have been motivators that have pushed him harder to get all 8 medals.  Throughout the history of sports, many athletes have made comments before performances that have fueled their opponents to beat them in stunning fashion.  Journalists are guilty of this as well – criticizing an athlete who they feel will fail, but their prediction ends up totally wrong.  This only motivates the athlete or individual being criticized to post the comments/articles on their “bulletin board” whether it be mental, or actual.  As we set up the pins on Michael Phelp’s bulletin board, let us first look at a couple examples from the sports world:

Jay Glazer of Foxs Sports predicted that Randy Moss, wide receiver of the New England Patriots, would be “the years biggest letdown.  Moss won’t be nearly as effective as was predicted.  Not even close”.  Thanks, Jay, for that extremely informative and accurate prediction.  Randy Moss went on that year to to set the single-season touchdown receptions record in 2007.  Most of us remember the NFC wild-card playoff game in 2003 at Lambeau Field between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.  The game went into overtime, and there was a coin toss.  When the Seahawks won the coin toss, the official asked Hasselback if they wanted to kick or receive.  Hasselback replied, “we want the ball and we’re going to score”.  Packers cornerback Al Harris ended up intercepting a Hasselback pass and ran it 52 yards for a touchdown, to seal a Packers victory.

So what is on Michael Phelps’ bulletin board?  There are two specific comments that come to mind.  The first comes from the “Thorpedo”, Ian Thorpe, the famous Australian swimmer who won 7 gold medals at a single World Championship, and who won 3 gold medals at the Sydney Olympics.  I can understand why an athlete who is CURRENTLY competing against Phelps would talk some smack, but when you’re taking cheap shots from the stands?  Come on….  Before the Olympics, Ian Thorpe was quoted as saying: “I have said before that I don’t think he can do the eight, and I still believe that…”  This must have given Phelps some serious motivation.  Thorpe has always razzed Phelps before swim races, but for him to do it when he is sitting in the stands is hilarious, and kindof pathetic.

The second quote comes from the now famous French relay team for the 4×100 freestyle relay.  Before the race, Alain Bernard, the anchor for the French team, said the following about the upcoming race: “The Americans?  We are going to smash them.  That’s what we came here for.”  As most of you have seen, it was Bernard who lost the race for the French team, when he stiffened up in the last 25 meters.  Its not that the French had something against the Americans when they said what they said, its that when you say such things, its like drawing a huge target on your face.

Those are two examples among many of what Michael Phelps placed on his bulletin board.  There are no doubt many other “posts” out there, but the important thing to remember here is how an athlete overcame criticism and incredible odds to complete the impossible.  And a special thanks goes to Alain Bernard and the Thorpedo for getting Phelps to where he is today.

Bindra wins India’s first Individual Gold

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2008 by nathanelwell

If you’ve ever traveled to India, you know that it leaves a major impact on your life.  The sights, sounds, and smells cannot be forgotten, and the people are different than any I have ever met.  The first time I landed in Chennai, India, there was a sense of mystery.  You walk out of the airport and see hundreds of people holding signs up, and you are immediately hit by 113 degrees of powerful and humid heat.  In the distance, thunder claps and you hear the persistant honking of horns throughout the night.

For a country that holds over 1.1 billion people (roughly 25% of the world’s population), it would seem that receiving an individual Gold medal would be a piece of cake.  After all, China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, has won 27 total medals and counting at the Olympics.  But it took until Monday, August 11th, for India to accomplish the feat.

Abhinav Bindra won the 10m air rifle Gold medal, ending India’s individual medal drought and giving tremendous pride to the motherland.  Today he is scheduled to meet the President and Prime Minister of India.  When asked about his accomplishment, this is what Bindra had to say: “I was trying to concentrate on shooting.  I wasn’t thinking about making history.  I mean I was two points behind at one stage.  I was just trying to concentrate.  I just wanted to shoot well, I just wanted to shoot aggressively, and that’s what I did”.

The last time India won a Gold medal was in 1980 for field hockey, but it was not an individual Gold.  This was the first official Individual gold EVER for India.  Get out your chicken tikka masala and naan bread and celebrate, an Indian has brought home an individual Gold medal!

Michael Phelps: Upcoming Swimming Schedule

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , , on August 14, 2008 by twonateshow

If everything turns out as Michael Phelps plans, he will have a new record number of Gold medals at one Olympics with 8 separate Gold medals.  Again, the record to date is from Mark Spitz, who received 7 Golds back in 1972.  See below for the remaining TV schedule of Michael Phelp’s last 3 races:

Thursday, August 14th – Men’s 200 IM, coverage begins at 10:00PM Eastern

Friday, August 15th – Men’s 100-meter fly, coverage begins at 10:00PM Eastern

Saturday, August 16th – Men’s 4×100 medley relay, coverage begins at 10:00PM Eastern

U.S. Men win 4×100-meter freestyle in stunning fashion!

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , , on August 10, 2008 by twonateshow

With a world-record time of 3.08.24, which beat France by 3 100’s of a second, the U.S. men absolutely shocked the crowd in the Beijing Cube by coming back from a full body-length deficit in the final leg.  I have never screamed so loud in my life for the American men, especially since it was defeating the French. 

That is 2 gold medals for Michael Phelps in the 4×100 relay.  What an incredible display of athleticism!

United States Medal Count – Beijing Olympics

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , on August 9, 2008 by twonateshow

Gold – 10      Silver – 8     Bronze – 11

Gold – Women’s Individual Sabre – Fencing – Mariel Zagunis

Silver – Women’s Individiual Sabre – Fencing – Sada Jacobson

Bronze – Women’s Individual Sabre – Fencing – Becca Ward

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 400-Meter Individual Medley -Michael Phelps

Bronze – Swimming – Men’s 400-Meter Individual Medley – Ryan Lochte

Bronze – Swimming – Men’s 400-Meter Freestyle – Larsen Jensen

Bronze – Swimming – Women’s 400-Meter Individual Medley – Katie Hoff

Silver – Swimming – Women’s 400-Meter Freestyle – Katie Hoff

Gold – Swimming – Women’s 100-meter backstroke – Natalie Coughlin

Bronze – Swimming – Women’s 100-meter backstroke – Margaret Hoelzer

Silver – Swimming – Women’s 100-meter Butterfly – Christine Magnuson

Silver – Swimming – Women’s 4×100-Meter Freestyle Relay

Bronze – Judo – Ronda Rousey

Bronze – Cycling – Levi Leipheimer

Gold – Cycling – Kristin Armstrong

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay

Bronze – Swimming – Women’s 200-meter IM – Natalie Coughlin

Silver – Women’s Gymnastics – Team Competition

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 200-meter butterfly – Michael Phelps

Silver – Equestrian – Gina Miles

Gold – Shooting -Men’s Double Trap – Glenna Eller

Silver – Swimming – Women’s 100-meter breaststroke – Rebecca Soni

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 100-meter backstroke – Aaron Peirsol

Silver – Swimming – Men’s 100-meter backstroke – Matt Grevers

Bronze – Swimming – Men’s 200-meter freestyle – Peter Vanderkaay

Gold – Swimming – Men’s 200-meter freestyle – Michael Phelps

Bronze – Men’s Gymnastics – Team Competition

Bronze – Shooting – Women’s Trap – Corey Cogdell

Larsen Jensen wins Bronze in Men’s 400 Freestyle!

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 9, 2008 by twonateshow

After Michael Phelps stole the show by posting a World Record in the 400 IM, Larsen Jensen followed up with a good performance by winning the Men’s 400 Freestyle.  Jensen probably did not do as well as he wished, but a Bronze medal is better than nothing, yes?

Summer Olympic Preview: U.S. Men’s Football (Soccer)

Posted in 2008 Summer Olympics with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by nathanelwell

Before I begin my post on the U.S. Men’s football team I’d like to share a “football joke” with you:

Q: What did David Beckham have for breakfast this morning?

A: Who cares.

I don’t even think Beckham is in the Olympics.  But oh well… On to football news!  The U.S. Men’s Football team begins its action this morning as they face Japan in in Group B.  In fact, by the time that you read this, the game will have already been over.  It started at 5:00am this morning.  The football matches may not be as big as the FIFA World Cup, but the U.S. team has something to fight for: they have only won a medal ONCE since football became a sport in the Summer Olympics, back in 1900.  The U.S. placed 3rd AND 2nd in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis.  This was evidently before the creation of one “national” team, as the U.S. placed 2 separate teams at the medal stand, neither of which were identified as “International Teams” (whatever that means).

But back to the present.  The last time the U.S. even participated in the medal round was in the year 2000, when they placed 4th behind Chile.  So needless to say, the U.S. team has its work cut out for them.  But they may have the advantage.  The U.S. team has the youngest average team age, even with a 37 year old forward.  The Japan national team scored the bronze medal during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  The last time that the U.S. faced Japan in the Summer Olympics was in 2000, as the U.S. outlasted Japan in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie.

The U.S. men will follow their match against Japan, facing the Netherlands, and then Nigeria.  Between Nigeria and the Netherlands, there are 1 gold medal and 3 bronze medals.  It is debatable, however, whether or not the U.S. team will even be able to breath on the field, since Beijing is known for its pollution.  In fact, earlier yesterday, members from the U.S. Cycling team were seen wearing protective masks.  Back to football…And for one more football joke before this post ends:

Q: If David Beckham were one of the Spice Girls, which one would he be?

A: Waste of Spice