I know the Olympic coverage has been featuring the 8 swimming goal medals and world records of Michael Phelps.....
but to me the one defining moment (so far) of the athletic competition was when the Romanian Female Marathon runner, entered into the stadium and the crowd roared...a marathon runner (most I ever did was a 5K) runs 24 of the 26 miles in silence, but the first mile and the last mile are when you hear the crowd....to compound that moment, when the 2nd and 3rd place runners entered the stadium and one was from the home country you could feel the stadium shake as they were cheering her on ..
In swimming, the crowd is with you because it's in a confine space, plus it's a small crowd...to have 80,000 cheer you must be something else
To me, the most interesting thing about the Olympic crowds overall is the lack of them. Even the most "popular" events have some empty seats, and the stuff that most consider secondary events are nearly abandoned.
Last I read, the Chinese were threatening to bus in "pep squads" to fill the seats for the final week. Naturally, they said they would put all these folks in yellow t-shirts (I imagine so the world would know they are ringers). Fits right in with the animated fireworks, lip-synched music and denied visas.
Just goes to show you that "if you build it, they will come" only holds true when you build it with your heart.
The real action is of course, on the basketball court. The United States has decided to show up and actually play basketball, and has had some success. A gold medal probably is in the offing.
As a note of interest, the first basketball game of the 2008 Olympics, between host nation China and the U.S., was the most-watched basketball game in human history. Over 1.3 BILLION viewers watched.........!
On the track and field side, what the heck happened to Tyson Gay, the fastest human on the planet? (Note to Tyson -- party like a rock star AFTER the Olympics..........)
On the viewship side, coverage seems a bit heavy on swimming and gymnastics. Let's get back to what makes it summer Olympics: Track and field, basketball, and boxing.
We go to bed relatively early Venice, and I haven't seen a minute of it. I'll be glad when the Olympics return to a more "Todd friendly" time zone.
I too was thrilled when I read about the Romanian runner. It must have been something to see and especially, hear. While I love of course the US taking home the lion's share, I nevertheless, as do most Americans, look forward to seeing an underdog win. Along that same vein, I loved where that young man from some island nation that hadn't won a medal since it joined the games back in '72, came away with a medal.
Oh and by the way, what happened to all of the promises that the horrendous pollution and smog would be "gone" during the Olympics? Has anyone heard mention of that? In the clips I've seen, it appears to still be there in abundance.