Monday, August 18, 2008

A Human Marvel!

What a glorious weekend we just had! There was a little glitch in that beauty Saturday evening, but for the most part the sun shined and the temperatures were rather pleasant. That glitch Saturday evening was a rather robust thunderstorm which rolled through here with lots of noise and its fair share of rain. The rest of the weekend daytime was filled with sunshine and we haven’t had that kind of a weekend for quite some time.

It would appear that we might get some rain tonight into early tomorrow morning, but for the most part this week has all the makings of being a really nice one. Those lucky people who chose this week for their vacations have chosen what appears to be a good one. Like Maine weather throughout the summer, though, there is a little potential problem at the other end of the week. It seems there’s this little storm named Fay heading for the U.S. and, although we probably won’t get the brunt of it, we could get some rough weather over next weekend.

I broke my own personal rule a little this weekend and did watch some of the Olympic coverage replays. The swimming whetted my interested as it did for many worldwide. As I’d bet everyone on this earth knows by now, Michael Phelps set a new, and under current rules, unbeatable record of 8 gold medals. He had a little help from his friends and a lot of help from his teammates on three relay events. When his team won the final event, a medley (one swimmer each doing the back, breast, butterfly, free strokes) relay, the first words I saw out of Phelps’ mouth were at his teammates, “Thank you!”

Phelps also now holds more Olympic medals through several appearances than any other Olympian in any sport.

Virtually every record holder in any sport will tell you that records are made to give those that follow an incentive to do the best possible. They are made to be broken. I’m proud that my son was a record holder in his sport. Many years after he set them, I had to write one weekend that his last one was then broken. He wrote back that’s what it was for and he was pleased that someone else had set the bar. That someone else, incidentally, was a young swimmer by the name of Ian Crocker. There’s more to that story, but that’s for another time.

For you who may not have picked it up, the reason Phelps’ eight gold medal records can’t be broken, only tied if someone does it again down the road, is because swimmers can only compete in five individual and three relay events in the Olympics. That would have to be changed for anyone to break Phelps’ record.

Another part of his record that won’t be overshadowed was his demeanor throughout the entire week. He was a class act, never assuming he’d accomplish the goal he had set and knowing it would only be done by hard work both by himself and his teammates. The reason he was the darling of the world was because he was Michael Phelps and not an arrogant superman.

Just a little in Phelps’ shadow was another American swimmer. Dara Torres is a 41-year-old marvel. She had qualified for the Olympics in the freestyle. Dara lost a Gold medal by just one-hundredth of a second, the smallest margin possible. But, also competing in two relay races, she ended up with three Silvers and that brought her overall total to a dozen. Her trip to the Olympics also had grabbed the hearts of people everywhere. Not all 41-year-olds who just had a baby two years ago can swim at that level with the youngsters.

Wife Gator and I also watched some fencing. After the gold had been claimed, we looked at each other and mutually wondered what that was all about? What just happened?

WG enjoyed a little bit of the equestrian events and I watched a few minutes of basketball; but when the final sporting event was seen, I had watched a lot more Little League Baseball World Series action from Williamsport, PA.


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