Not all perfect in the village
By Chad T. Jones
Public Affairs Officer
That's because I watched the opening ceremony -- loved it as a matter of fact. Well, at least most of it. Seeing Muhammad Ali was sad, and I'm pretty much convinced that the organizations who requested his presence only respect the name and not the man who made it great.
But beyond that, the ceremony -- and the games as a whole -- has been outstanding. And I should know since it has been the only thing on my multiple televisions since Friday night.
I jumped out of my chaise to root for the U.S. in archery, renewed my love for Brazilian athletes using just one name like Paula or Jaque, and of course, admired Team USA bringing the pain.
However, that's not to say everything is perfect in the Olympic Village.
For one, the Chinese are winning way too many gold medals.
For two, Ryan Lochte coming in fourth in the 200 freestyle and getting chased down in the pool in the 4x100 freestyle relay was unacceptable.
For three, all that screaming during women's fencing. Whether it comes from a riposte, remise or straight attack, those yelps are enough to make your ears burst.
And for four, Jordyn Wieber getting shut out off the individual gymnastics all-around because she finished third on her team even though she finished fourth overall.
I know the Olympiad is a political event, but there is no way that political correctness should determine who makes it on the medal stand. This is not CYSS sports where everyone gets a trophy.
This is the Olympics where the best should only be determined by performance, and not by playing nice-nice with other countries who do not have the goods to compete.
Another thing I'm not overly excited about is all you knuckleheads complaining about tape delay as if it was a new phenomenon or that it is no longer valid because you have a Twitter feed or Foursquare account.
The greatest moments in Olympic history were seen via tape delay: USA over the Soviet Union in 1980, http://bit.ly/drDJhY; Roy Jones getting robbed in the 1988 Olympics, http://bit.ly/f9FPyL; and of course, pretty much everything Michael Phelps has done.
From the eight medals he won in Athens in 2004 and the historic eight-for-eight in Beijing in 2008, to the three medals and counting he's earned in London, Phelps' entire Olympics experience has been experienced in tape delay.
And after he won those two medals Tuesday, it is only fair to say that his experience has made him the "Greatest Olympian of All Time."
Think about it. Our Aquaman has won 19 medals including 15 gold. F-I-F-T-E-E-N! Nobody else in the history of the games has won more than nine golds.
If it wasn't for Ramadan and this being a family publication, I'd probably drop a few colorful, four-letter words to hammer home how impressed I am with Phelps.
But instead, I'll just ask you a simple question: Can you think of a better title than "The Greatest Olympian of All Time"? Maybe "The Baddest Man on the Planet" or "Dad," but even those are arbitrary at best.
Phelps' title is a certifiable, stone-cold lock. It isn't even close. In fact, here is another question for you:
Has there ever been a greater distance between the first best athlete and the second best athlete in the same category? Maybe Jerry Rice compared to every other wide receiver ever, or possibly Wayne Gretzky compared to any other hockey player. But then again, look at what Phelps has done.
He not only won the 19 medals in a sport where you have to go through a rigorous qualification process. He not only won the 15 golds, including eight in a single Olympiad.
As of press time, Phelps holds seven world records including three individual records: 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley. He also was a member of four world-record relay teams: 4x100 free, 4x200 free, 4x100 medley and 4X100 short course.
Plus, he's done it all while managing global expectations -- and with every single swimmer in the world giving it their best every time Phelps steps into the pool.
Ask Mr. Lochte how easy it is to compete under those conditions. And while you're at it, why don't you ask him who his hero is.
I bet his answer will be the same as mine.
If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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