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.

What a Race!

If you missed the Men’s 4×100 relay last night you missed one hell of a race. The French squad was favoree to win the event. The french were so bold as to engage in a little trash talk ahead of the games. (I’m paraphrasing here) “the Americans? We will crush them, that’s what we’re here to do.”

Well maybe it was that last bit of locker room fodder that gave the US Men’s team the will to come from behind to won the relay. It was the kind of moment that makes the olympics so special and yet another reason I’m an Olympic addict.