Monday, August 11, 2008

What a Race!

BEIJING (AP)—With history about to slip away and Michael Phelps cheering him on, Jason Lezak pulled up next to the lane rope and set out after hulking Alain Bernard, like a NASCAR driver drafting down the backstretch at Daytona.

Only 25 meters to go, half the length of the pool. Every stroke brought Lezak a little closer, a little closer, a little closer, his body seemingly carried along by the Frenchman’s massive wake. The two lunged for the wall together. When the result flashed on the board, Phelps was still on course for his record eight gold medals.

By a fingertip.

Lezak, the oldest man on the
U.S. swimming team, pulled off one of the great comebacks in Olympic history Monday morning, hitting the wall just ahead of Bernard in the 400 freestyle relay, a race so fast it actually erased two world records.
Few sporting events live up to the hype—this one exceeded it. The 32-year-old Lezak was nearly a body length behind Bernard as they made the final turn, but the American hugged the lane rope and stunningly overtook him on the very last stroke.

“This has been happening my whole career,” Lezak said. “People have gotten on my lane line and sucked off of me, so I figured this is the one opportunity in my whole career to do that.”
Suck it Frogs.


Anonymous said...

Poor Lezak, being "sucked off" so many times.

Okay, that was cheap.

I must admit, while I have not watched actual telecasts(due to the inappropriateness of China hosting the games), I have paid a little attention online, and have not turned off Sports Center when the Olympics come on.

So it is not without my own guilt that I wonder: Did you break your "not watching this Olympics" stance out of pure admiration for great sporting moments, a patriotic need to watch the US compete, or just plain hatred for the French?

With tongue firmly in cheek (and no Lezak jokes to be made here)


Mike Stajduhar said...

Well...luck would have it, I wasn't home when the race was shown on the west coast and happened to catch it at someone's I'm not sure if I was technically violating my boycott or not.

I have to say, the final leg of the relay, where Lezak, the oldest member of the US team came from being a full body length behind France's best swimmer...may be the most impressive athletic accomplishment I have ever seen.

I recommend watching it if you get the chance. It's a heck of a race.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure I really am boycotting the Olympics, but I am taking a pass on all that Olympic brotherhood of man B.S. that gets peddled every four years. It's all the more ludicrous when the Olympics is held in a police state and Russia is invading Georgia. Not to mention suicide bombers who target schools and the like...and yet the sports themselves can be compelling.

I guess I'm conflicted. Oh and I don't hate the French, but when somebody says they're going to stomp you and you come from behind to beat them...well that's just delicious.