Monday, August 6, 2012

Usain Bolt, Oscar Pistorius and the Summer Olympic Superstars

OK.  The Summer Olympic in London is in full swing and we are trying to set a record for most nights of odd sports in a row we can watch.  Tonight it was track and field.  Even though we are on tape delay here in the States, the evening Olympics coverage has been pretty entertaining.  Not only that, because its tape delayed, the fact that we are watching it on our DVR makes it seem almost fitting.  Anyway, two of the most intriguing athletes in this, the second, week of competition have to be South African Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius and Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt.  While Bolt is certainly recognizable to the kids at this point, I have to admit that Oscar Pistorius is only recognizable because he scares the bejesus out of DLG.  She DOES NOT like the biotic robot man.  Anyway, we sit down to watch the coverage.

8am.  Oscar Pistorius will race first in the 400 meters.  Here let me hid DLG somewhere away from the TV before she starts to really freak out.  As I suggest that we go upstairs to watch a quick show, she can tell what I'm up to and tears start to well up in her eyes. 

"I don't want to see the robotic man." She starts to scream.  I shuffle her upstairs.  Oh by the way, Pistorius is up against stiff competition in this 400M semifinal, including favorite Kirani James from Grenada.

Uh oh, he got a bad start, got lapped immediately by some shmoe.  Not looking good.  The announcer chimes in that Pistorius usually has a faster back half of the race.  But unless that includes some sort of bionic Steve Austin-type move, he's not going to win tonight - or even advance for that matter.   In fact, he ends up in last place.  I'm really bummed out.  That was a great, uplifting story that the kids really got into.  Good for him anyway.  In the aftermath interview, he came across as a humble, kindly gentleman.  I'm rooting for him in Rio De Janiero in 2016.

And on to Bolt. 

The boys didn't want to watch the heats and DLG was not budging from her perch several yards away from the robotic man.  So I fast forward to the Finals.

There is electricity in the air at the Stadium as the buzzing grows louder for Bolt against the rest of the World.

"Go Bolt Go"  C starts to chant as he awakens from his baseball-induced coma just in time to watch the race.

"He's so fast!" G says as we watch the 2008 Olympic race he won back in Beijing.

DLG looks out from around the corner of the couch to see if the robot man was running.  He's not.  But she quickly disappears again.  I guess history is not too important to her.  But it will be.  Someday.

I asked the boys who they were rooting for.  The boys both answered Gatlin, Gay, Bailey and Bolt.  That's a lot of guys.  I think they want one of the American to win and then they want Bolt to strike them down with some sort of super human, magical lightning bolt and take the Gold Medal away from the winner.  I'm secretly rooting for Usain Bolt, myself.  Call me a bad American, but at least I don't want anyone to get hurt.

Asafa Powell with his fu manchu and mean glare at the camera scared DLG, just as she was feeling more comfortable with the race.  Back upstairs she goes.  Honestly, he's sprinting in the Olympics, why all the growls?  In DLG's defense, I just don't think track and field is her thing between the bionic man and the scary guy.  Nevermind, the race is about to start.

"Still the King of the 100!"  The announcer shrieks as Bolt wins the race handily, edging out Gatlin to take home the Gold Medal.

"I would love to be Usain bolt right now.  I want to do that lightning bolt pose too Dad"  You aren't really that fast I told him.  Blessed with his Dad's speed and all.  He goes on as he grabs the clicker to rewatch the race.  "What happened to Asafa Powell?  He pulled  up short at the end of the race?  And Dad, look, it looks like someone threw something from the stands!"

We then rewatched the short dude chuck some sort of Evian bottle (isn't that the way?) toward the starting line.  Maybe he thought they were thirsty?  Maybe he was a Powell Henchman?

In the end, Pistorius and Bolt both proved their mettle.  We're all proud of them.   

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