Monday, August 11, 2008

man with the Midas touch

Last nights 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay will go down in Olympic history alongside the famous "Do you believe in miracles?" hockey game of 1980. The race was on close to midnight, Eastern time. My wife had gone to bed only a few minutes earlier. I called out to her and convinced her to get up and come watch the TV in my office.

This morning she urged our son to go online and find some video highlights. First he tried to watch it on an older laptop, choosing the option to watch without downloading Microsoft Silverlight. That didn't work. He then found that it wouldn't work without updating the version of Firefox on that machine either. I sent him upstairs to get my laptop. We downloaded the application and finally watched the race. It was well worth it. In fact it was even better the third time around. If you haven't already seen it, click here to watch the race. And then watch it again a couple of times so that we'll be caught up.

To win more gold medals than Mark Spitz, Michael Phelps needed to be on a winning relay team. Obviously he could not do that on his own, especially against the heavily-favored, smack-talking French team. Phelps swam an American record time in the first leg and still got beaten by the Australian competitor. His teammates took the lead, lost the lead and then came from behind to win the race. Jason Lezak's anchor leg was amazing. Equally outstanding is the jubilation of the American team as they celebrate their victory.

All the teams were so good that even the fifth place finisher came in ahead of the old world record time of 3:12:23. Imagine explaining that one to the grandchildren. "Oh yeah, we broke the old world record. Yet somehow we came in fifth!"

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Blogger Amelia said...

That's the best when the team is behind and at the last minute the anchor touched that wall before the guys who were going to "smash" us. That was an awesome moment to watch!


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