Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day Two

12:56pm: Great swim by Stephanie Rice, apparently she becomes Australia's 400th Olympic medallist - and thus destined be the answer to a trivia question at very boring trivia nights. Grant Hackett earlier in the morning did my dough, but we're back on course now; though as a few of those in front of him will swim the 1500m, he's going to have to do something amazing to win - apparently the Chinese swimmer who came 2nd is coached by Hackett's old coach.

The women's 4x100m Free up next. Libby (has she given up asking to be called Lisbeth?) swam well in the 100m Fly Semi's, so here's hoping for good things.
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Earlier I watched a bit of the women's beach volleyball. The American pair of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh have apparently won 18 tournaments in a row and 102 wins in a row. Purely in the interests of being witness to truly phenomenal athletics' performance, I think I shall have to make sure I watch a large number of women's beach volleyball matches.
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1:45pm: Well the women didn't quite cut the mustard in the relay - obviously Jodie Henry, sitting back home in the Sunrise studio, would have been helpful. Have to say, early on it's very much a changing of the guard type feel. Hackett seems just that bit behind the young guns, and this is the first meet you really notice no Thorpie. In Athens on the first night of swimming finals, Thorpe won the 400m, and the women won the relay; this time it's Rice in the 400m IM and the women came third.
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2:18pm: Apparently now in gymnastics you need to understand advanced calculus to be able to grasp the scoring system. No longer is 10 the perfect score - in fact there is no such thing as perfection - and a score around 7 is considered good; which I guess is apt, given that 7 is around the age at which girls are either told they are too fat or too tall and thus to bugger off; or they told they are a good size for gymnastics so long as they stop growing and are ready to be put through mental hell for the next 8 years.
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5:47pm: Ok, let's add to the list of stupid sports, synchronized swimming. Is there any logic to it? Nope, there is nothing inherent about diving that needs two people to do it at the same time. Does it require judging? Yep. So that's the two answers which in my book would have it kicked out of the games. What next? A gold medal for the country that marches the best in step at the opening ceremony? Why not it worked for my primary school.

No joy for Michael Diamond in the trap shoot. Like I said, changing of the guard...
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6:35pm: The crowds have been pretty woeful - not such a surprise, they were bad in Athens as well - but if you can only get 20% capacity to the beach volleyball you know someone has stuffed up the organisation somewhere. In Sydney, we had tickets to a morning session of it, and the place was packed, and even though no Australians were playing, the atmosphere was fantastic. Now I can understand there being a few spare seats at the rowing heats, but the gymnastics? I thought Chinese loved that sport?

Either the whole "sold out" story is a bit of hooey, or the seats have been sold to travel agencies etc, who haven't been able to on-sell them. Bit of both I think. Just more evidence to go on the "bring on London 2012" case. Say what you like about the Brits, they like watching sport, and also I bet people will be more inclined to travel to London than they would have been to go to Beijing.

Add in the stuff up over the cycling, and this looks like being an Olympics organised by someone who thought the opening ceremony was the whole point of the Games.
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8:47pm: The Olyroos were valiant against Argentina, but it was really men versus boys stuff.

Tomorrow's swimming finals are:

  • Women's 100m Butterfly - Libby looks the goods.
  • Men's 100m Breaststroke - Will be a great race - if Rickard can get a medal he'll have done brilliantly - has broken his Aus record twice so far, can't ask much more than that.
  • Women's 400m Free - Odd that Australia can't produce any good distance swimmers - where is today's Tracey Wickham, Michelle Ford, or even Haley Lewis?
  • Men's 4x100m Free relay - USA to give Phelps his second Gold (btw put him down for 8)

Have to say these Games seriously need Roy and HG. Triple J just isn't enough.

From what I can gather Georgia only has a team in the Beach Volleyball, so we won't be seeing a blood in the pool match between Georgia and Russia in Water Polo. There is a Russian team in the Beach Volleyball, so the possibility for a meeting between the two does exist, however it won't be all that tense - the Georgians are actually two guys originally from Brazil who took money to become Georgian citizens. Can't see them willing to shed blood for the cause.
***
Just checked out the official theme song on youtube. Here's the lyrics (sung by Sarah Brightman in a ear-bleeding high pitch):

You and me/From one world/We are family/Travel dream/A thousand miles/Meeting in Beijing/Come together/Put you hand in mine/You and me/From one world/We are family.

Who says there's no poetry left in the world? The "travel dream" line must refer to the fact that most people wouldn't dream of travelling to China to watch these games. The "thousand miles" refers to how close you will be to the actual site of any events if you had bought your ticket from that dodgy ticket website. "Put your hand in mine" perhaps refers to the money that must have changed hands somewhere along the line to get the IOC to choose Beijing in the first place. Have no idea about "Come together" except perhaps they where hoping the line might make people think of The Beatles, and thus ignore just how crappy the song actually is. Generally comming together in Beijing will result in "you and me" being escorted ot the local police station for some Jack Bauer style questioning. So maybe that's what they were meaning.
***
9:34pm: Australia is in on the women's gymnastics. Can't get excited, can't be bothered. Day 2 over for me.

1 comment:

ATO way to go said...

a little more cynicism in your blog would be more appealing, and perhaps you should have just said you are a guy interested in sport and left it at that.
you could also broaden your sport horizon to beyond the olympics, such as Andrew Mcleod's 300th game or even the goal of the year kicked by Jericho (to rival Motlop's) in the SANFL in Norwood's win over Sturt at the Parade.