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Mike, there are also reports that Bolt dragged his foot at the start. Bolt's performance at the Olympics was the single most astonishing thing I've ever witnessed in sports.

I bet Usain is on performance enhancing drugs. Sorry the win is just too spectacular. Just like Lance Armstrong who was only a good racer each year except for the Tour de France. It just doesn't fit.

M.J. -- "beach volleyball played by males has got to be the most boring sport ever invented."

Gotta watch those superlatives, like "most boring."

There's target shooting, for example; an absolutely motionless fat guy's gun makes a little "bap" sound, and a hole appears in a piece of paper 25 meters (or whatever) away. If they've really got to do something with guns, I think they should require Budweiser chugalugs every five minutes, during a paintball elimination contest. Drunk guys with guns shooting each other - what's not to like?

Then, there's synchronized swimming, which mostly takes place underwater; you gotta be firmly attached to a water pipe to even tolerate it, much less understand it.

The **whole point** of beach volleyball is the woman. Do you think they got on TV because of the deathless quality of the matches? I think they should be handicapped, with "best ass" getting a three-point advantage.

I would also pay to see cat fights between female "Miss World" contestants from whichever countries are at war with each other during that Olympics. Russia vs. Georgia, the U.S. vs. Iran, India vs. Pakistan, Syria vs. Israel.

Good stuff -- maybe I'm a little strange, but I might also be a TV programming genius. I can guarantee that the cat fights and the paint ball wars would get the ratings. (Please God, don't let a TV programming guy see this note.)

JC

And now imagine being a decathlonist - even if you win all of your disciplines, you get just one medal and next to no recognition.

Speaking of less popular sports, the greatest difference between the gold medal winner and the rest of the pack that I know occurred in powerlifting. In his best years, Ed Coan pressed, lifted and squated 20% more than the second best - that's the equivalent of a 10.5-meter long jump, running 100-m sprint in under 8 seconds, or swimming 100 meters free style at around 35 seconds.

Regarding Bolts you meet exactly my sentiments. He has brought my attention back by pure fascination. The pharmaceutical circus called sports shifted my respect down over the years. But it was seeing this Mr. Bolts in the heat, running about 50 meters, relaxing for the rest and finishing at 9,92 which got me back into. 9,92 in relax-mode… I did not get why the reporters still spoke of three favorites for the final. So I got back to the front of the TV and excited about that century-run. Maybe irrational, but plain fun. As law specialist I am used to counter my prejudices by the assumption of innocence, well, esp. in those cases where my sympathy is strong. It has to be strong since this doping issue is alive for me since my age of 12, when I admired the running style of Valery Borzov - f.e. http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuvV2TAqyu4 – since rumours about wide spread use of anabolic steroid-tests went along and a good friend of mine, decathlete at the local athlets club, a few years later proved that practice on his behalf even down on local level.
But such a talent like Bolts is sensational. So tomorrow I´ll get home to the TV in time to see the heats of 200 m…Would like to see him trying long jump – he could become the actual Carl Lewis (who btw was not that small with his 1,91m, wasn´t he?); as long as the assumption prevails...
Regards
hertz

I doubt there was ever a better nickname than "Lightning" Bolt. That guy can fly!

I agree with your point of view regarding Bolt versus Phelps. For me those 9.69 seconds were more thrilling than anything in the pool. But again, it's probably more a question of relating to the sport than anything else. I'll also add Shelly-Ann Fraser's name to my list of Olympic heroes this time around. I can relate to her look of unbridled joy after winning the women's 100m. And I'm in awe of the Jamaican sprinters in general. What an amazing accomplishment from such a small and relatively poor nation!

One thing about Usain Bolt: Although he has that long-eared-puppy look, he's been a sprinting professional since 2004, so in a sport with short careers, I'm not sure qualifies as inexperienced, although it's true that he wasn't a 100m sprinter until about a year ago.

I actually found Bolt and Phelps quite similar--physical marvels who quickly took control of their respective races, blew by the field and smashed world records. Both are exciting to me.

I like beach volleyball, too--it's amazing how much court two people can cover. Beats long distance running as a spectator sport.

Roger,
Fair enough!

Mike J.

I have difficulty with the moniker the Tv wants to give him of greatest olympian ever (Phelps); largely because there are a lot more people who run than swim. lets face it, in order to swim you need infrastructure not available in a lot of places. But running, it doesn't get much more straight forward. The fastest person alive. Honestly I wanted it to be Tyson Gay's olympics; I am disappointed.

I love the whole spectacle of the Olympics, even in sports I care not a whit for during the rest of the year. However, as a former rowing coxswain, I should point out how much work goes into "making it look easy." Talent alone is rarely enough. For a crew to row at a lower stroke rate than the competition, and thus have enough left in the tank to sprint away at the end, means countless painful hours building their fitness level and refining their stroke. I'm sure there are other swimmers with Phelps's body type, but it was his attention to training and technique that capitalized on it.

On a related note, the Chinese are relentless in their study of success and the application of disciplined training. If their Project 119 is any indication, look for a "Chinese Phelps" and perhaps a crop of tall sprinters at the London Olympics, or the one after that.

You'll probably revisit this topic a few months or perhaps years later when these guys fail their drug tests. I'm sorry but there's really no getting around it. Believing it's not true is just naive. Then again, you may think I'm a pessimist, which is fair ;)

As far as boring vs. thrilling sports go... I've spent so many years in the pool it's impossible for me to miss events such as this. I got up at 4am every day to watch the finals (we've got you guys to thank for that, switching heats/finals around to align with your prime time)
For me it is absolutely amazing to watch, and I don't care how boring some (most) people think this sport is simply because I think pretty much all other olympic/normal sports are.

I would watch the 100m run if I could easily find it online somewhere but I don't care enough to solve issues with limited access and such. Everything else could just as well never happen as far as I'm concerned. The really exciting sports usually don't make it on TV anyway.

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