Thoughts on the Olympics

  • I have three friends and a lot of acquaintances competing in the Games this year. The three pals are Matthew Centrowitz (whom I’ve known since he was about 10 years old), Nick Symmonds (my former teammate and cliff-jumping/rock climbing buddy (just don’t tell Nike that)), and Julie Cully (We were both Coached by Matt Centro Sr and in 2009 I wrote up and took her through a strength routine that she followed).              Send these three lots of positive thoughts and cheers.
  • There have been some hilarious names so far. Leading the way is Dong Dong with a flawless trampoline routine but some other funny ones would be Destinee Hooker, Aichen Wang, Karen Cockburn, Yoo Suk Kim, and Gavin Smellie. Yes, I still have the maturity of a 14 year old boy.
  • Despite what every single announcer says every single event in every single broadcast, fourth place is not the worst place. You know what’s worse? Fifth place. You know what’s also worse? Sixth place.  What else? How about DFL? How about not making the finals? Or the meet at all?  I finished 4th place in the 1500m at the 2003 NCAA championships, I finished 3rd place in the Mile at the 2006 Indoor National Championships when the top two made in to World Champs.  Was I upset I didn’t finish higher? Yes damn it, but I was still pretty happy with my performance and much, much, much happier then the National Championships when I made the final but finished 10th or 11th (I did that a total of four times I think) and I was infinitely happier then in 2008 when I didn’t even make the Olympic Trials, ending a streak of qualifying for like 12 National championships (counting indoors) or 6 outdoor champs. If you’re making a case for 4th being a matter of pride and that it’s worthless then why is 2nd or 3rd really that much different?  You didn’t win did you?  That’s what really matters.
  • I love the Olympics. It was the biggest dream of my whole life to make it to them and I never did but I still love watching them.  The excitement is unmatched. I get caught up in the sports I normally couldn’t care less about.
  • Like most serious track fans I’m extremely impressed by Oscar Pistorius and find him to be very inspirational, but I don’t think he should have been allowed to compete.  I’d hate to be the one to tell him no, but in my mind the science definitely says that he has a competitive edge due to his blades. If you want to read about the science of it, I almost always agree with these two South Africa physiologists.
  • Phelps is the real deal, even as a track fan I think I agree to calling him the greatest Olympian ever.
  • Bolt actually looks human so far, but I wouldn’t rule out another super human performance in the finals.
  • Did you ever think you’d see Britan and USA occupying the top two podium spots in the Olympic 10k? Especially when a guy named Bekele was sharing it with them? (ok it turned out to be his little bro but the big guy was right behind in 4th).  Not trying to take anything away from GB but the fact that the American, Galen Rupp is USA born is even more shocking to me.  I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever see it in my lifetime.
  • Overall it’s been a super exciting games. USA is leading the Medal count and poised to bring home a bunch more. Good stuff.

Matt, Dan, Andre and I at a BBQ after Matt got Bronze at the 2011 World Champs. The first American to medal over 800m since 1987.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on the Olympics

  1. dan says:

    Now that the Olympics are over and we have a little distance, any thoughts on the track and field? Your type of races? etc?


    • neonrabies says:

      Hey Dan, sorry, just seeing this. It was a great games, hopefully I didn’t jinx anyone with my 4th place tirade as Matt got 4th and Nick got 5th. Leo getting silver in the 15 was almost as amazing as Galen getting it in the 10k. Not quite though.

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