Posts Tagged Olympics

To An Athlete Dying Young

As the Olympics come to a close…remember how they started….

THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

A.E. Houseman

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Lyndsey Jacobellis

got what she deserved….

Love this article….http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/snowboard/news?slug=jp-jacobellis021610&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Main entry: Jacobellis

Pronunciation: JAKE-uh-BELL-is

Function: Verb

Dates: 2006, 2010

1. To cost oneself athletic glory and sentence oneself to a lifetime of smarmy people using surname as a verb, esp. through youthfully hubristic hot-dogging.

2. To spin out and end an Olympic Games in disappointment.

Synonyms: Van de Velde.

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The National Anthem

That’s the second national anthem before a NASCAR race that I have been ashamed of. If you do not know the words, please see yourself to either the northern or southern border of this country.

The first anthem was by the lead singer of Three Doors Down, Brad Arnold and then tonight’s ‘performance’ was by Jessica Simpson. I really do not understand how these individuals do not a) know the correct words and b) respect the members of our military enough to learn and sing the correct words.

This summer during the Olympics, we got a glimpse of American at their best, both on the athletic field of play and in their displays of patriotism. Now, I am not saying that Jessica or Brad are unpatriotic, please do not take this that way. I am saying that seeing those athletes standing on the medal stand, listening to The Star Spangled Banner being played, watching them mouth the words or openly sing, sometimes with tears in their eyes is something very moving. I can not imagine what it feels like to be up there actually in that moment.

My opinion of a few athletes changed for the better because of the respect they showed their country and our national anthem. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Kobe Bryant. But when I saw him on the medal stand singing, along with his teammates, it impressed me. Not enough for me to become a big fan but enough to at least respect him more. That may be a direct result of Coach K taking the time to let this team explore who they are as Americans and understand who and what they were representing while in Beijing. The two most moving medal stand images to me were Natalie Coughlin (swimming) and Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball). Natalie stood there proudly, singing, being moved to tears and calmly wiped her eyes at the end of the anthem…it was simple yet moving. Kerri also stood there proudly with her partner Misty May- Treanor, but with Kerri, you could tell she wanted to sing, and even started to, but couldn’t get out but a few words before she needed a deep breath to collect the emotions which surely were overwhelming her at the time.

No one but those individuals knows how they were feeling or if this is what was really going on, but that is how I saw it from home.

I think many people in this country need to watch this video and then see if they will sing the words correctly or with a different type of emotion next time. As for Brad and Jessica, I hope there isn’t a next time that I have to be subjected to that.

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Tattoos or Scars…Updated!

which one tells the better story??

We have all heard the quote, “Scars are just tattoos with better stories”. But is that really true?

Is the story about how you fell off your bike and had a rock in your knee really better than the story told by a World War II veteran about how he got this tattoo while stationed in some exotic place with his war buddies? I think the stories are two different beasts. One is a story that is shared and related to others often, the other is one that is sometimes kept only to that person and a select few because of the memories it conjures up.  If it is just the story we are concerned with, I think it would be better to stick to the scar.

However, there are different kinds of tattoo stories as well. The stories of a spring break down in Panama, a family member or friend remembered forever or just one crazy night in college. Which story would we be more interested in hearing? For the most part, I am guessing that it would be about the spring break or crazy night in college…because we never want to get to close to people anymore and know something as intimate as the story behind the anchor, initials and dates that sometime adorn the bodies around us.

Would it be so terrible to walk up to someone you know and ask them about the tattoo on their arm or leg? Sometimes you understand the meaning of the tattoo by just looking at it but do you really understand the reasoning behind the person getting it if you never take the time to ask? Most people are glad to share that information with you and most of the time; I bet you will be surprised at how open individuals can be when you give them the chance.

As we watched the Olympics this summer a lot of tattoo talk was brought up by a certain photo. Yes, I’m talking about the Misty May- Treanor/ President Bush photo. Misty has three tattoos; one is on her lower back of the Roman numeral five along with initials (the tattoo represents her favorite number and basketball player Jason Kidd).

Those details aside, if you have ever watched a match including May-Treanor and her partner Kerri Walsh, (or if you watched their interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show) you know that Kerri slaps her behind after a good play. All President Bush was doing was a more appropriate way of doing that when he visited their practice. I shudder to think what former President Clinton would have done in that position. But back to the tattoos and scars…

I wonder if Misty enjoys the fact that everyone knows what her tattoos mean. We heard it all throughout the Olympics, the one of her shoulder is in remembrance of her mother Barbara May, the one in the famous photo also includes her grandmothers initials, and on her wrist is tattooed M2, a tattoo which she shares with her husband, Marlin’s catcher Matt Treanor (but we didn’t hear about that one…maybe because its not too visible?)

Do we talk about the scars that Misty surely has from all her years in sports? I haven’t heard one thing about any athletes or celebrities scars unless they were surgery and therefore the scar is ‘job related’. You don’t hear that this scar is from climbing a tree in the backyard or this scar is from a little league baseball game. Why is that?

Are tattoos that much more interesting than scars? Does having a tattoo represent something make it more important than the scar you got while sliding into home to score the winning run? Who decides it is more important?

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Top Ten Olympic Moments

10.  Dara Torres almost winning her first individual gold and then less than half an hour later, anchoring a silver (almost gold) relay for the U.S..

9. The open water swimmer, Natalie du Toit from South Africa competing without her right leg, not winning, but competing just the same.

8.  Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor fielding 5 set points from Belgium in set 1 and going on to beat them in straight sets.

7. Michael Phelps winning the 1st of 8 golds on the Jason Lezak come-back…and Rowdy calling it like the US was beating the Russians in hockey!

6. The IOC president calling out Bolt on his sportsmanship…glad someone in the world still believes in upholding the Olympic creed.

5. U.S. Men and Women gymnastics both medaling without many expectations.

4. The Opening Ceremonies- AWESOME!

3. Lukin beating Johnson during the all around..putting in the work and finally beating the star.

2. Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor winning gold over the team from China…with a shot so reminiscent of Athens 4 years ago.

2a. Phil D. and Todd Rogers winning the men’s beach volleyball gold on a run of blocks in the third set.

1. The flag bearer in the opening ceremonies for the USA…representing his new country and doing it on such an international stage

1a. The men’s indoor volleyball team returning from the biggest tragedy of the Bejing games to win the 1st gold in 20 years.

Honorable Mention:

1. Kyle Busch did NOT win anything!

2. Phelp’s mom watching her son swim and screaming for Jason Lezak

3. The IOC finally investigating the Chinese gymnasts

4. “Ring The Bela”….too funny!

What were your favorites?

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Olympic Motivation?

Does anyone else out there get insanely motivated by watching the Olympics? May be weird, but I really have been motivated to get up and get off my butt these past few weeks since the games began! I’ve also been thinking about what sport in the Olympics I could do (please stop laughing now! 😛 ).

I think I’ve settled on none, but in a pinch I think I could handle beach volleyball, diving. , or the steeplechase. Yes, I know I didn’t play vb in high school or anywhere other than graduation parties…but who knows! Diving….I like the pool, I like the diving board….as long as I don’t pull a GL and smack my head on the board! The steeplechase seems to be the only event I prolly have a prayer in….running, jumping over things and running through water…sounds like Jr. High cross country gone wrong to me!

So excited that Kerri Walsh and Misty May -Treanor won the gold last night!! I watched all of their matches and even though the team from China put up a fight, they were the ones to pull it out. There were a few moments where I was a little worried but Kerri and Misty never lost their focus…which is a great attribute to have as an athlete.  I’d love to see them compete sometime…and if it wasn’t during State Fair, I’d be heading to Mason, OH next weekend!

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8

Phelps has done it.

But not without some scares and help from others and destiny along the way.  It could have all ended before it began if Lezak did not get a great push off of the wall in the 4 x 400 free relay.

Jason Lezak deserves a big pat of the back for how he helped keep the Phelps dream alive against the French and in the final relay keeping and then expanding on the lead that Phelps himself had built up.  When you listen to Rowdy call the Lezak comeback, you think would have thought we were about to beat the Russians in hockey again.  his call ranks up there with the Miracle call and the Giants win the pennant calls.

And then last night’s fingernail win…it could have ended there. But as Kurt Russell (as Herb Brooks) said in Miracle “You were meant to be here..each and everyone of you.” This was Michael’s week and his time.  I honestly did not think he could do it. That is just incredible that he did.

Hats off to Dara Torres (who missed her first individual gold by 0.01) as well and then (less than half and hour later) almost bringing the gold home in the relay.

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