Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Early Monday or late Sunday (the time difference makes me nuts) Michael Phelps won his second and most difficult race, the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay. The relay team - first time Olympians Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and veteran anchor Jason Lezak and Phelps, won gold although France and Australia were favored to beat them. It was the most exciting, most record-breaking, most amazing, thrilling, unbelievable relay anyone could ever imagine.
The French, had been smack-talking before the race. "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for" French relay anchor Alain Bernard said. Well, American anchor Jason Lezak had other ideas. Coming from behind, in a dramatic and I do mean last second drama, Lezak powered pass Mr. Big Talk to touch the wall, set a world record and win gold. I thought Phelps, Weber-Gale and Jones were going to hurt themselves screaming for their teammate near the closer than close finish. Whew!
France took second, Australia third.
Cullen Jones is heavily involved with an organization called "Make a Splash," a national child-focused water safety initiative created by the USA Swimming Foundation (MakeaSplash.org). Jones is mostly concerned not that minority children learn to swim fast, but that they learn to swim, period.
Underdogs, the USA Men's Gymnastic team won Bronze by competing their hearts out with tough competition China (gold) and Japan who took silver and edging out Germany for third place. They were exuberant to win Bronze. I like that. Gold is gold but Silver and Bronze ain't tin either.