2008 Olympics: More Random Observations

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OK. We’re about half way through the Olympics now and the track portion of the games is well underway. Despite the miserable track coverage, I’ve been enjoying watching as much as I can both on NBC and their online site. Here are some more random observations since my previous post.

  • It was interesting to see the small lighter weights placed outside of the collar in Olympic weightlifting. I can’t say I’ve watched a major championship competition for 2 years but I don’t ever remember seeing this. The collars must be magnetic. Anyone know for sure?
  • Tyson Gay was extremely gracious after his non-qualifying semifinal performance. He’s a true class act and a great ambassador for the sport.
  • Any one notice how high the block pedals are on the starting blocks. These are bigger than I’ve ever seen.
  • There are lots of athletes with their feet up high on the blocks. In fact, Queen Harrison had her feet about 4-6 up from the ground and high on the blocks. Never seen anything like that before.
  • I have mixed feelings about the age controversy surrounding the Chinese Gymnasts. I know we want to avoid taking advantage of little girls but they ARE the best in the world. Shouldn’t we allow them to compete.
  • The online broadcasts have been the only saving grace of the track program in the U.S. NBC has been showing stuff on a 12 hour delay. Ridiculous.
  • Walter Dix is very impressive. Every time you want to count him out, he always steps up. He didn’t look super in the rounds but there he is taking the bronze medal in the final of the 100m. Not only that, but like Gay, the guy is a real class act. He’s going to be around for a long time.
  • For the first couple days of the track program the U.S. seemed to be having an unbelievable meltdown.
  • I feel terrible for Liu Xiang. I really wanted to see the matchup between him and Robles and I was really rooting for him to win in impressive fashion. The guy has been so clutch over the past couple years it’s heartbreaking to see him go out how he did.
  • Anyone notice the sprinting mechanics on the gymnasts. Shawn Johnson notwithstanding, it’s been a huge change- high knees, no more pointy toes. Barry Ross is probably filing a protest as I write.
  • Sacramone was robbed of an Olympic medal in the vault. I can’t believe they scored the Chinese gymnast higher despite LANDING ON HER KNEES. You gotta feel bad for that girl but I’m sure she’s going to have a great future ahead of her.
  • The use of Dartfish in swimming, diving, and gymnastics is good. They must have a pretty skilled operator because some of that stromotion stuff takes a little time and they do it fairly quickly.
  • Are the new swim suits SUPER tight or has every woman competing in the sport of swimming gotten a breast reduction? The reason I ask is the women don’t look unusually lean (aside from Torres) but they are all flatter than the men (who generally aren’t wearing the full body suits).

Well, that’s it for this installment. I’m guessing there’ll be one more random observations entry before these games are through.
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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

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Mike Young
Mike Young
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