Sure, I might get tilted by the Chinese government, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think the Olympics are an awesome and incredible sporting event. When the World Cup rolls around, that’s pretty much the only time I’ll ever voluntarily watch soccer. It’s the same with the Olympics. I mean, who cares even the slightest bit about diving, archery, water polo, handball and all of the other uber obscure sports except during the Olympics? I know I don’t. But… I will watch the medal competition of basically any sport — even women’s basketball (!). Of course, my favorite events are men’s basketball, swimming, track and field, cycling and a few others. Watching the female beach volleyball is pretty awesome as well, I will definitely try to catch that whenever it’s on.
But the coolest thing about the Olympics is that people challenge incredible records and, routinely, world records are broken. When you see world records being broken everyday, sometimes it makes you devalue the idea of holding a world record. Until you see something like this:
Isn’t that incredible? Okay, so Bob Beamon jumps 8.90 meters in 1968. Mike Powell, challenged by the legend Carl Lewis, jumps 8.95 meters in 1991. No one has done better since. In fact, no one has come within 8.6 inches in the last 14 years (see here). That, to me, is legendary stuff. How crazy is it that only two people have held that record in the last 40 years? Especially considering how sports science and nutrition (NOT doping — I’m referring to the legit stuff) have advanced. I just can’t believe that no one has been able to come along and break Mike Powell’s record, but that only shows just how incredible some world records are. Don’t let the greatness of an athlete like Michael Phelps fool you — world records are incredible achievements. Just because he breaks swimming world records seemingly every week should not devalue athletic greatness. And those records that stand the test of time are even more incredible.
I, for one, cannot wait to see what is accomplished at these Games. Good luck to the USA.