Olympic Halfway Point: I’m still feeling very Olympic Today

Six days before the Olympics started I posted some things to watch as the Olympics approached. It’s now my unofficial Olympic midway point, so I thought why not check in on the list…With another week to go, I can’t wait for even more moments from these Beijing games. 

Could Michael Phelps Do It?


Phelps did the improbable, some thought impossible and won eight gold medals at a single games. He’s become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history and has changed sports forever with his accomplishment. In the moment, it’s easy to consider a Phelps win automatic, but history will look back on this as week of dominance unsurpassed in sport. 

Will air pollution remain a story?

Well, kind of. 

The weather has been so rainy in Beijing this week that particulate matter and smog have been less of an issue than at one point was feared. But there’s still another week to go and track and field is set to take center stage. 

What will US Olympic ratings be?

Looking at these numbers, the Olympic games have thrilled NBC thus far. With the Phelps drive for 8, the women’s gymnastics, and Dara Torres amazing efforts at age 41, this week had east coasters staying up late. 

Yao Ming is a national hero. 

It’s now clear (at least to me) that China will love Yao Ming no matter where the Chinese Basketball team finishes up. Ming was the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies, and with good reason. He is a national hero and his pride for his nation and his people was palpable both then and during the US/China basketball game earlier in the week. 

Will we be able to look at the Olympics the same way again?

I asked if in the age of steroids, would we watch amazing athletic achievements and not wonder if chemical enhancement was the cause. The accomplishments of Dara Torres of Michael Phelps might have been questionable, but for two things. World records fell with ease this Olympics. The new swimsuits and the fast pool are being credited with the increased speed. Second, Torres and Phelps voluntarily participate in an increased drug testing program in an effort to prove they’re clean. So far we’ve watched and I have believed….


Michael Phelps, American Story

One of the interesting aspects of the Beijing Games is the continuing drama of east meeting west. While I was one of the many that marveled at the collective effort of the Chinese opening ceremonies. I have watched genius Chinese diver Guo Jing-Jing and the Chinese gymnastics teams win gold.

There is a remarkable contrast in American sports. Michael Phelps is the quintessential American sports star. Joining the recent ranks of Tiger, Lance, and Jordan, Phelps is another example of what Americans hold dear in their heroes. Our heroes are driven, focused, and determined, much like the the Chinese. The big difference-our heroes are an all volunteer army. While the Chinese are compelled at a young age to their given trades. Our sports heroes choose their path, and long for dominance. We admire their dedication to simply being the best at what they do. Our sports heroes may have been pushed by their parents, but our government doesn’t falsify their passports to make them fit age requirements or pull children out of their homes to train for greatness.

Our heroes are made, not born. Made in America.