Really great, no-cynicism Olympic moments

Yep, I’m a sap for it. The National Anthems, the group hugs among competitors, the moments of nobility and selflessness. I cry whenever they play the Star-Spangled Banner - ball games, yep; Olympics, you bet. So you gotta know I’m there for the “thrill of victory, agony of defeat” stuff.

Here’s some I’ve gleaned:

When the Romanian women’s gymnastics team received their Gold Medals and they played their national anthem, NBC closed in on the face of one of the Romanians. She kept her eyes fixed on her flag, her face utterly composed, while tears streamed down her face. I wondered if she would wipe them away - she didn’t, she just let them fall. What a pure moment.

When Aaron Piersol was briefly stripped of his Gold Medal, Markus Rogan, who stood to benefit, clearly could be heard urging him to protest. Later, NBC quoted Rogan as saying he didn’t know if he could have accepted the Gold.

The few seconds when Paul Hamm did not yet realize he had won the Gold on his last event, when his trainers were going nuts. They didn’t know what to do, they were so beside themselves.

There are a bunch more, but listing them would require me doing research to figure out what the events were (women’s 4-by-something relay? Great squeals from three of the Americans while the fourth was coming in for the Gold. What was the event? Who was that swimmer? I’m to lazy to google, but another great scene of unedited enthusiasm)

Kaitlin ? Sandeno. I’m probably mangling her name, but my connection is too slow to look it up.

Does anyone know where I could download a movie of Paul Hamm’s individual gymnastics routines, including that last part? I missed it the other day and I’d really like to see it. I’ve been following the gymnastics pretty closely and I’m irritated I missed that. Thanks!

Go to and click on “Video” on the top navigation bar, then Day 5, and they have Hamm’s parallel bars, vault and high bar.

Thanks, Geobabe!

GRR, maybe not. I can’t get at the stoopid video. It’s telling me I need to complete some registration, but won’t take me to the right screen. Anybody have any better luck with that site?

They are asking for my credit card number. No way am I giving that out. Does someone else have another link?

Weird, I don’t even get that. Well. Sorry 'bout that.

I have been purposefully avoiding any Olympic news so I can watch the events without already knowing the outcome. Can someone tell me what Aaron Piersol temporarily lost his medal?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

The official called an illegal turn on one of his turns (too much glide, if you’re familiar with the backstroke turn). The American team protested and after replay it was determined that the turn was within guidelines.

It was also, coincidentally, Piersol who made an outcry against the Japanese swimmer (can’t remember his name) who made an illegal dolphin kick during one of his breaststroke races (it was not caught by officials so the swimmer won the gold).

On the swimming - the men’s 4x200 free relay was great. I particularly liked the difference between Phelps’ individual gold that same night (where he did a tiny, self-conscious little fist pump at his victory) contrasted with the team spirit of the relay, where he was just about beside himself whooping it up for his teammates (as they all went crazy).

That was pretty awesome.

Phelps and Natalie Coughlin have the best damn smiles - full of joy and totally lacking in any conceit whatsoever…just that pure joy.

I know nothing about swimming. When I saw his last turn I said, “Huh. That looked funny.” And the race ended and we TiVo’d away into the twilight. It was only later that we realized there was a controversy and by that time it was cleared up.

So, something looked funny, at least to me.

Strictly speaking, it’s not your entire credit card number. You just have to prove that you have a Visa Card. It is, however, enough information that they can probably tell who you are, which does seem a little odd to me.

Nah, his turn was perfectly normal, just like every other swimmer in the pool. It might seem odd that backstrokers turn over on their front just before the turn, but that is perfectly within the rules. His last turn was no different than any of his previous turns, or of any other swimmer’s turns. No idea what the judge was thinking, as no one could spot any irregularities.

That really got me, too. I was watching it with a friend who’d already had it ‘spoiled’ by the news that morning, and hearing Rogan urge him on made me just smile and say, “Y’see, that’s in the spirit of the thing.” It was trully a great moment.

Latest swimming news: Michael Phelps gives up his relay spot to give his teammate a chance for another medal

Race results from today inside:

Phelps beat his teammate, Ian Crocker, in the 100 Butterfly today in a very close race.

After swimming the 100 fly final, Phelps announced he was giving his spot on tonight’s medley relay to his teammate, Ian Crocker. Now, Phelps already swam in the medley relay prelims, so he still qualifies to get a medal if the team places…but he still could have gone for the glory. Instead, he gave up his spot to Crocker so that Crocker could get an extra chance to medal.

I think that’s spectacularly cool, and generous of Phelps, since this was his last race and the media would have been all about Phelps (this is THE medal, the 8th one that will make him the most-decorated US athlete in a single Olympics).

Genghis Bob, I’m with you! The race you were thinking of was the Women’s 4x200 Freestyle Swimming Relay with Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Dana Vollmer and Kaitlin Sandeno (I knew none of them before this Olympics, but I just looked up all their names). It wasn’t quite as thrilling as the men’s amazing relay race the night before, but it was just as interesting but the swimmer’s reactions was just as fun to watch, especially since they broke a 17-year old World Record.

In an interview with Bob Costas, Phelps indicated that he idolizes Ian Crocker, and has had a poster of Crocker on his wall for a long long time. I agree, it’s spectacularly cool him giving up his place on the relay to Crocker.

I’ve been Tivo’ing and have watched way too many hours, but it’s all been enjoyable. My favorite moment by far was shown yesterday during the day (though I didn’t see it until I scanned through the recording last night). In the Women’s 100m dash qualifying heats (Friday 8-20-04) I saw **Robina Muqim Yaar ** from Afghanistan and Alaa Jassim from Iraq. Neither of them came anywhere near qualifying, but it was great to just see them there.

In the heat that included Gail Devers, Fartun Abukar Omar from Somalia, who was way behind (she came in last after Alaa Jassim), ran in Gail Devers’ lane for a few seconds. The announcer could barely contain his sneer at such a doofy “mistake” (…“completely lost in her lane!”) but I’ll bet she did it on purpose. Imagine being able to say “I ran in the same race with the great Gail Devers, even ran in her footsteps!” It makes more sense to me than that she was so stupid that she didn’t know what lane she was supposed to be in, since it was a straight race and she had to purposely swerve over into Devers’ lane then back again into her own. I could be wrong, of course, but it’s a sensible and charitable explanation and I’m wondering why neither of the annoucers thought of it.

I’m never interested in sports like swimming or track and field, until the Olympics come along, then I’m rabid. I love the Olympics! These have been going along great. The America-centric coverage is constantly annoying, but otherwise, there hasn’t been a massive amount of product placement, everyone seems really friendly and humble, just happy to be there, and Greece is simply amazing.

Sorry, but Phelpls does not have that poster in his room because he idolizes him. He has it there as a constant motivation to work harder since Crocker had beaten him in their two prior meetings before the olympics (Worlds in Barcelona, Olympic Trials). He certainly doesn’t hate him, and they have the same agent, but idolize, sorry, no way.

Also, Piersol’s turn was absolutely, totally, legal, viewed from any angle in the world. How interesting that an Austrian judge did the DQ and an Austrian would have won that country it’s first gold ever in swimming as a result. How even more interesting is the fact that Rogen, the Austrian, was the first to tell Piersol that everything would work out, and insisted that his country remove their protest. Great Britain retained theirs. Classy guy that Rogen.

The way Deena Kastor got the bronze in the Marathon was great. Slow and steady may not win the race, but it sure is a valid Marathon strategy. At one time she was something like 14th place, she kept picking off people ahead of her one by one.

Felt bad for Paula Radcliffe tho.


You might think of the person who comes last as the loser, but it isn’t always so.

From The Irish Times:

If you read the article, it conveys just how beautiful this moment was.