Aug

8

The 2008 Bejing Olympics are officially underway. The international spectacle has now begun and the forbidden kingdom will show to the world what $40 Billion dollars does when it is in invested in the the greatest sports exhibit ever undertaken by a country.

By all accounts its promises to be the most incredible and spectacular Olympics ever conducted. It will far outdistance anything attempted up to this point. Three full weeks of non stop pageantry, ceremony and athletic competition. It will have something for everyone, athlete and non athlete alike. There will be more human interest stories than can possibly be cataloged or chronicled. There will be athletic endeavors and accomplishments that have never been seen before. It will be watched by billions all over the world and will prove to be memorable beyond imagination. This is China's opportunity to show the world that they are moving from a country of isolationism and communism to free market capitalism. Be prepared for a veritable onslaught of Large Corporations and marketeers to pound the world with incredible ads and promotions the likes of which will be off the charts.

The inherent beauty of the Olympics is that it is performed only ever four years. That seems like a sufficient intermission to whet the appetite and keep it all fresh for everyone to enjoy without diluting the overall product. Few of us will even recall the events of those that transpired at the 2004 Olympics at Athens Greece.

The magnificence of the Olympics is it is still in a very large part one of the few venues in the world left where the true amateur athlete will be competing. Oh there will be the featured marquee professional events such as men's basketball and the Dream Team 3. Tennis will also be contested and soccer, but by and large it will ultimately focus on the pure amateur. Those who compete for the love of the sport and the thrill of the competition without regard to financial compensation. Those who suffer, train and sacrifice their entire lives for one opportunity one chance to compete on an international stage and against an assemblage of the most formidable competition their sport has to offer.

We also will get a rare glimpse at such rarely documented sports such as rowing, badminton, Equestrian, handball and many others.

So fasten your seatbelt, fix your Tivo, order your box from your local cable provider or satellite company get your Barcalounger ready for the event of a lifetime. I am sure this website will be ready and willing to chronicle the results as they unfold.

For home viewing, NBC has a marvelous website devoted to coverage of all the sports.

Steve Leslies updates:

Dara TorresOne week has transpired since the magnificent and indescribable opening day ceremony that unveiled the Beijing Olympics. The events are unfolding at an incredible pace and it is impossible to track all of the astounding accomplishments that are unfolding at warp speed.

The talk of these Olympics has been in swimming. Michael Phelps has solidified his name in the history books as the most decorated Olympian in history. He has earned eight gold medals to complement the six gold and two bronze that he won in the Athens Olympics. He has surpassed Mark Spitz's seven gold medals that he won in the tragic 1972 Munich Olympics.

Dara Torres, four time gold medalist, is competing in her fifth Olympics at 41 years old. Her first Olympics was in 1984 in Los Angeles. She did not compete in the 1996 or the 2004 Olympics. She had a real shot at a gold medal in the 50 meter freestyle. In a sport where 25 is old, she astounds the world by competing at a world class level, despite her age and the fact that she gave birth to her daughter two years ago. It is much more that the neoprene Speedo that she wears that is an attribution to her success.

Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain broke the oldest standing world record in swimming in the 800 meters freestyle. Janet Evans previously held the record which she set in Tokyo on August 20 ,1989. This is the longest event that women contest in swimming.

The other marquee event, track and field, is just getting underway and already a new world record has been established in the 100 meter dash. Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran the event in 9.69 seconds the first human ever to break the 9.7 barrier with no significant tailwind. Bolt is aptly named for a 100 meter dash.


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3 Comments so far

  1. Marty King on August 10, 2008 2:58 pm

    “It will be watched by billions all over the world and will prove to be memorable beyond imagination.”

    “Few of us will even recall the events that transpired at the 2004 Olympics at Athens Greece.”

    Huh?

  2. Craig Bowles on August 11, 2008 6:45 am

    Sure won’t forget the opening ceremony. Wish the coverage wasn’t so focused on the U.S. When Nadia Comaneci and Mark Spitz competed, the focus seemed to be more about individual talent. Greatness is amazing regardless of political borders.

  3. steve leslie on August 12, 2008 9:18 am

    I take it that "huh" providing absolutely no original content of its own whatsoever, is a hint at sarcasm. The opening ceremony is estimated to have been watched by 1 billion chinese and 4 billion people from all over the world. The internet streaming video has been incredible. NBC airs the Olympics simultaneously on at least 6 different channels including HD and Telemundo. The President of the United States accompanied by his father and the first lady are in attendence. That has never happened heretofore. NBC paid nearly $900 MM U.S. dollars for the rights to the Olympics and $1.4 Billion will be spent on advertising with $100 Million devoted to online advertising. The Opening Ceremony was spectacular beyond expectations and tickets were being sold at many times face value. Already incredible accomplishments abound. The Men's gymnastics team depleted because of injuries and against long odds took a bronze medal. The Mens' 4×100 swimming freestyle crushed the world record by 4 seconds. Michael Phelps looks more submariner than human. I never tire of being patriotic. I love seeing one of our athletes standing on a podium with the National anthem playing and the star spangled banner hoisted upward. Then, in an unscripted outburst they cry overcome with the majesty of the moment. Much more to follow….

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