pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

10 Best Olympic Moments...

10) The Chinese in general- Whether it was lie telling about Gymnasts' ages, or replacing a child with busted Phelps teeth with a more glorious child in the opening ceremonies, the Chinese have confirmed with authority that they are here to stay. The Chinese opening and closing ceremonies along with the venues (moving 110 million cubic feet of water to create the rowing and sailing venue) and stadiums they built made the United States look like a third world country (Especially with their gold medal performance, even though US still won most medals). Their people cheered even when other countries won, and there constant "we so happy," attitude was made even more entertaining when you know they were nervously looking over their shoulder at communist party officials making notes about how they were acting. The music they played alone represented everything about the "west v east confusing culture clash." No Olympics will be able to replicate the sheer grandeur, magnificence, and visual brilliance of this event. People will be talking about this for years to come. The fact that they were able to pull something off that the world could not even imagine shows how powerful of a country they are. By putting 40 Billion dollars into these games, the Chinese have proven that they may be the new worlds number 1 Superpower. Everyone better listen to Fareed Zakaria in the Post American World because it looks like his theory that the United States empire is being passed up by other countries is happening faster than we all thought. After shock, awe, and joy passed while watching the engineering/ technological masterpiece that was the opening and closing ceremonies, my next emotion was fear. Yes fear. The Chinese will not only surpass the United States dominance, but trample over it and leave it in the dust. If you don't agree then you have a world of pain coming. The best we can do is prepare and think about it as a business opportunity to use the Chinese as a deep consistant market for US goods.

9) Guo Jing Jing's incredible ass- The Chinese are usually lacking in the ass department, but boy did Guo Jing Jing represent (in talent as well and junk in the trunk). Not only did she win a bunch of gold medals in the diving, but her ass should have won a gold medal as well. Guo is a model and all around celebrity in China, but the dump she is working with should make her a world sex symbol. Damn!!!!!! Apparently the Internet is abuzz with finding an allusive ass shot of the diver. When she stood on the board to do any backward diving you could hear the gasp from the crowd and the world. All that cheering and flag waving was for more than the diving believe me.

8) The Horses revolt in Equestrian- Most people don't watch the Olympics at off hours or on Oxygen, but if you did you may have caught one of the most entertaining moments of the Olympics involving uncooperative animals. You can train for years, but you can never prepare for animals that don't want to compete. The athletes of equestrian are not allowed to compete with their own horses, so they have to ride on animals they have never rode on before. This lead to some of the best slap stick comedy I have ever seen. Athlete after athlete fell and was thrown off horses during a day of competing when it was raining and storming out. For some reason all of the horses did not want to be ridden or jump over things. One athlete had the horse fall on top of him then got his leg stuck on the saddle as the horse stood up and took off running. You could play a reel of these mishaps to Benny Hill music and have a 1 million viewed You Tube video is seconds.

7) The Hot Javelin Thrower from Paraguay
- Much like Anna Kourikova. Leryn Franco, the Javelin thrower from Paraguay that everyone was drooling over , was a whole lot of style over substance. It didn't make a difference that she was smoking hot, as she was eliminated without making it anywhere. Woops. She was still worth a top ten moment spot, and she managed to get Paraguay into the news. 

6) Russian Pole Vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva- The audience involvement and Olympic spirit that was present during Yelena Isinbayeva's gold medal record breaking performance is everything that you wish for when watching the Olympics. She spent most of the day lying under a towel only to take it off and rally 91,000 people behind her. She broke her own world record and commanded the attention of the world as she did it. I never thought pole vault could be so much fun. 

5) The heart stopping Men's 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay- Do I really need to say anything about this race. 10 meters behind the world record holder, final leg of race, Michael Phelps ability to break Spitz's record on the line. Indescribable. Plus a black guy won a gold medal in swimming. Well what do you know!!! You don't see that much. Busting Rock Fish stereotypes all the way to the gold medal podium. Everything about this race screamed Olympics glory/ NBC vignette.

4) Shawn Johnson and Nasty Luikin- Two Americans against an army of children communist gymnasts (and unfair judges). They kept their composure, performed like true champions, acted like professionals at all times, and looked cute doing it. 

3)Lu Xiang's dejection- Imagine all the pressure of 40 billion dollars spent on your countries Olympics coming down on you. Lu Xiang represented China's ability to compete in a sport of power and speed, much like their ability to compete among the world super powers. Everything and everyone in China was anticipating his race. Lu Xiang's race was really in China's mind as they built the new wonder of the modern world Bird's Nest. Xiang got injured and tried to compete, but couldn't. The look on his face and the silence at the Bird's Nest as he walked off the track was a moment that words cannot describe. He won the 110 meter hurdles 4 years before and everyone wanted him to repeat in his home country. It did not happen. Disappointment in the purest understanding of the word. Kind of funny right? At least in my warped sense of humor.

2) German Weightlifter Matthias Steiner- Matthias Steiner kisses a picture of his late wife Susann on the gold medal podium, choking back tears over the promise he made to her that he would keep their Olympic dream. The super-heavyweight made the pledge to Susann at her bedside in a hospital as she lay dying after a car crash in 2007. This is everything you want in the Olympics and why we wait in anticipation for 4 years. 

1) Michael Phelps/ Usain Bolt- Michael Phelps- 14 career gold medals, 8 in one games, two of them from races that couldn't be scripted better, and one mom made for NBC. Nothing more needs to be said (retarded?). Usain Bolt- 6 foot 5 inches of unimaginable speed, cockiness, and physical awesomeness. His world record breaking performance in the 100 and 200 at 35 mph was only matched by Estonia's Gerd Kanter celebrating his discus gold medal by sprinting down the 100 meter track at the Bird's Nest and mimicking Bolt's marksman routine. Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were by far the most talented and high profile athletes of the games and deserve the number one spot on any list.

No comments: