Monday, July 07, 2008

So... I'm looking forward to the Olympics

I know, I know, we're watching THE TOUR right now, but I have to tell you I'm looking forward to Bejing. Why? Four reasons so far:

+ Kristen Armstrong. In what other sport can someone like me get to ride in the same race as someone like her?  After watching her annihilate the rest of us at Nature Valley, I can't wait to see how she fares with the rest of the best.

+ Dora Torres. This 41-year-old swimmer and mom just set a record for the 100 meters during the trials and will go on to represent the U.S. Her complaint? Her middle-aged eyes couldn't quite see the board thing.  Hip hip hurrah for masters.  Speaking of which, if you missed it, 49-year-old Jeannie Longo will make her 7th trip to the Olympics representing France in the time trial and the road race. Of course, there are some who would say a masters athlete simply can't beat younger top athletes, at least not without a little something extra and illegal, but Dora has submitted to a high level of testing and when I can remember were I read or listened to the testing regime I'll post it. Of course, there's quite a bit of dispute over whether dopers can even be properly identified (NYTimes). Nonetheless, I'm gonna watch. I'm gonna cheer, and if she or Longo tests positive, I'm gonna be bummed.

+ Shawn Redhage. This Lincoln, Nebraska-raised East High graduate who I babysat a few times will be supporting Australia's bid for the basketball gold.

6 comments:

bluecolnago said...

i saw a bit on the news this morning about dora torres... awesome lady! i hope she kicks serious booty!

oldmanandhisbike said...

I am so glad not to see that Carrie Cash photo anymore! :^)
That was scary. Hope she's feeling better.
I have to wade in on the subject of Dora Torres. I saw the news report last night covering her remarkable record setting efforts at age 41. I am glad to see older atheletes not only competing but being successful against younger competition. But here is the rub. From what I saw last night, this woman spends her entire day being handled, massaged, stretched, assisted and managed to practice and compete at this level. She even admitted that without this, she could not excel as she cannot recover as quickly as a younger athlete. Given that fact and what must be, an amazing amount of money to cover the expenses of all this "help" is it really as amazing as it seems on the surface? Believe me, I am not knocking her or her acheivements, but just noting the issue. I'm sure the same could be said for many male and female professional athletes competing in a variety of sports, but I never realize before this story how much effort was required to be competitive at this level.
Sorry if I am raining on your parade; being an old cogger you would think I'd be yelling YaHoo! I just found the information provided an interesting perspective.

sydney said...

@oldman, I think those are good points. No rain on my parade. The fact remains that she set a record and if she can deliver a gold medal performance, it probably is all worth it.

If her younger competition had been getting the same treatment, would they have out swam her? Who knows?

At what point does effort spent training exceed the rewards of stellar performance? Only the person paying for the training and associated activities can decide that. So long as she races clean, I'm thrilled a world record setter will be representing the U.S.

oldmanandhisbike said...

I'm with you on the doping issue; if it is all her, then its a fantastic acheivement.
I really wasn't complaining but rather was just surprised how much work went on behind the scenes to make it happen.
If she wants to compete and that is what it takes, then more power to her for making the full commitment and being successful!

Dad said...

Oldman...
You highlight a very good point about what it takes to move above the masses in sports, and particularly what it takes to move into the top 5% in a sport...dedication to the effort...that means foregoing many normal activities most folks take for granted...no time. Submission to the training schedule, the trainers, coaches, and the rest of the support staff...they all own and operate a part of your daily life...my college football coach told us that we should give our heart and soul to Christ 'cause the rest of us belonged to him...for 4 years that is true...if you want to start and play every Saturday.

So you make a really valid point for those who are contemplating higher performance in whatever field they endeavor to compete in...being in the top 10% isn't just a stroll in the park.

Don said...

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Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,

Don
chinaolympics8@gmail.com