17 August 2008

A Final Thought...

So my favorite part of the Olympics - swimming - has now come to a conclusion. It makes me a little sad...outside of the Olympics it is pretty difficult to watch high-caliber swimming, but also a bit happy, as I can get to bed at a decent hour! Don't get me wrong, I will still be watching the Olympics, just not with the same vigor I have been.

As I watched the finales last night, I thought about the week gone by I was once again truly amazed and inspired. From the awesome Michael Phelps, to the totally awe-inspiring Dara Torres, to the swimmer in one of the unseeded freestyle heats who finished the first Olympic swimming race for his country, to the Israeli swimmer whose father died a few days before his race...these are just a few stories among many.

For two weeks, the world gets to take a pause from the horrible, and just concentrate on something remarkable and, for the most part, positive (except when the athletes test that way). These are people, from all walks of life, who have reached the pinnacle of their sport, and are just giving it their all.

Yes, many are naturally gifted. As Torres says, she has a fast twitch reflex that helps her in the sprints, but she still has to work her ass off to get where she is. The dedication that goes into reaching the Olympics, in pretty much any sport, is something I cannot even fathom.

So I say, good on you, athletes!

On a more shallow note, I noticed last night that the swimmers wear different suits depending on what stroke their doing. The freestylers seem to wear those RZRs, the breaststrokers wear suits that only go to their knees, and for the men, the butterfliers wear just pants. I would like to put in my vote that the men always opt for the pants-only option. The display there is also awe-inspiring!

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