The Olympics are, hands down, my favorite sporting event. It started when I was two, and my mother, an Olympics junkie if you’ve ever seen one, pretty much forced me to watch the 1984 Summer and Winter Olympics instead of doing normal two-year-old things. This caused me to mimic Mary Lou Retton by diving head first off my couch when my parents weren’t looking, which then resulted in my first of two childhood concussions when I went flying into the window. (The other came while roller skating when I was four, back before helmets were all the rage.) Since then, I drool over the Olympics like Homer Simpson drools over donuts.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to follow the Bejing Games as much as I would like. I have been traveling for work, and haven’t been able to catch the games. I have been trying to stay up for the late night replays, but have been passing out whenever I see a bed. I have missed so much of the gymnastics, and I feel out of the loop. However, here are the observations regarding the little bit I have seen:
Everyday it seems that I am reminded of another reason why the selection process for the US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team is a comedy of errors. (See “How To Best Make Your Sport Irrelevant” for a full blown rant on the subject.) For the past few days, the Olympic Team alternates – Jana Bieger, Ivana Hong, and North Shore’s born and bred Corrie Lothrop – have been mired in a web of confusion about where exactly they are going to train while the Olympics are ongoing. (The alternates can be subbed in for designated team members up until a certain day prior to the actual start of competition for women’s gymnastics – and for the life of me, I can not find the exact date.) Because they were selected so close to the actual start of the games, these alternates, who would need a travel visa to get into China, have missed the deadline to secure such a visa. However, USA Gymnastics thought that maybe they could get the three alternates into Japan instead, have them train and wait there, and then if one of them was needed, get them into China on an Olympic credential (which acts as a visa.)
Dear Mr. Favre:
I understand you currently have a tad bit of drama in your life. A few months back, you thought it best to retire from the sport you loved, because everyone was chomping at the bit for you to. All of us football fans had been anticipating your retirement for the last eight years, as all of your contemporaries hung up the cleats. But over those years, you still had the skills and desire to play, and fortunately, weren’t racked by debilitating concussions or other injuries that have forced some quarterbacks out too soon (gratuitous Steve Young reference of the post.) So you stayed in the NFL, losing some of your effectiveness as a quarterback and as a leader in the locker room (your teammates grew up watching you play – you’re from a completely different generation as yours) but still leading the Green Bay Packers to respectable seasons.
Filed under 2008 Olympics, Brett Farve, Brett Favre, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo New York, buffalo wings, college hockey, gymnastics, hockey, NFL, NHL, Non-Sports Posts, Rochester NY, Steve Young, Trent Edwards, Upstate New York, Western New York
Like many other sports fans, I am eagerly waiting the women’s gymnastics competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics. As I saw in person a few weeks back, the US women’s team expects to be quite competitive, as the senior championships demonstrated such an amazingly high level of competition. Despite the great performances at the Visa US Championships, no members of the Olympic team were named after the competition ended – just all but four of those who competed advanced to the Olympic Trials, held this past weekend in Philadelphia.
But was an Olympic Team for Women’s Gymnastics named after this weekend? Oh no. Two gymnasts – Shawn Johnson and Nastia Lukin – were “guaranteed” spots on the team, but four spots and three alternates still remain open. These team members will be determined in a “selection camp” held on a private ranch in Texas owned by the King and Queen of Modern Gymnastics, Bela and Marta Karolyi. This camp will be closed off from the public and media, and will be held in late July. The Olympic Games begin two weeks later. Continue reading
I don’t have as great of notes for the seniors as I did for the juniors – for both senior sessions, I sat with friends, and didn’t have the time to take detailed notes. The seniors were amazing to watch, mostly due to the sheer excitement of the crowd – it’s rarely that loud even for hockey games. Hundreds of little girls watching their heroines will do that.
Again, I am not the world’s greatest gymnastics writer, but I was there and know just enough about the sport to understand what’s going on. To review the senior competition, I’ll borrow a device from one of my favorite sports writers, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, that I haven’t used in a while: Ten Things I Think I Think. Continue reading
Yep, I’m still working on my thoughts from Seniors Day 1 – the Celtics and the Red Sox distracted me (I had Sox tickets last night, and was distracted by watching the Paul Pierce-drama filled Celtics-Lakers game after Seniors ended on Thursday night, and had work early in the morning on Friday…a timely post on Seniors was just not happening.)
The Junior Championships just completed, with Jordyn Wieber taking it handily. She really distanced herself from Samantha Shapiro at the end of Rotation 2, with nearly a 3 point lead in the all-around. I game late, and I don’t know what happened to Shapiro in rotation 1 (she was first up on floor exercise), but she was either marked down because she was first, or something went wrong. I walked in as Wieber began her floor, and she was on – it was a statement performance. No one was going to take the title away from her this afternoon. The following are my thoughts on the rest of the session before I head back to see the seniors. Continue reading
I’m back from Day 1 of the Juniors competition at the US Gymnastics Championships. Before I head back to the arena for the Seniors at 7pm, here are some notes from this afternoon. Continue reading