Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad

2008 Beijing Summer Olympics LogoThe 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games are finally here! The Blot’s been anxiously awaiting the 2008 Opening Ceremony and the official start of the XXIX Olympiad. What can I say, I’m an Olympics junkie. Every two years I plant myself in front of the television for two weeks straight and get wrapped up in the greatness that is World competition.

NBC 2008 Beijing Olympics LogoWhile I don’t always love the way NBC dramatizes every single athlete and Olympic sport, they at least make it interesting and highlight the amazing stories that encompass the Olympic Games. Take for instance this compelling story about Lopez Lomong, a former Lost Boy of Sudan who yesterday was chosen to carry the flag for the U.S. in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday. If something like that doesn’t blow you away then I don’t know what will.

Over the next two weeks legends will be made and interesting stories told, but to The Blot these are the 5 questions I can’t wait to have answered:

1. Can “The Redeem Team,” the nickname given to the 2008 U.S. Men’s Basketball Team, regain the dominant form of the original 1992 “Dream Team,” or will this team under whelm like the U.S. basketball squad has over the past 8 years?

The 2008 USA Men's Basketball Olympic Team
2. Can Michael Phelps achieve his goal of winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics and break the record held by swimming legend Mark Spitz for the past 36 years? Oh yeah, and will Phelps shave that ridiculous goatee he's recently grown?

U.S. Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps
3. After all this talk of China’s pollution, will we notice any significant effect from it on the Olympic athletes?

A Photo from 08-07-08 of the China's Olympic Bird's Nest - Just One Day Before the Start of the XXIX Olympiad
I’m guessing the answer to this one will be a resounding yes and that very few World Records will be broken (especially in outdoor events) over the course of this year’s Olympics.

4. With Paul Hamm, the reigning gold medalist in the Individual All-Around Men’s Gymnastic event and the only American to ever win gold in that event, out of this year’s Olympics due to injury, will another male gymnast step up to the plate and bring gymnastic gold back to the good old U.S. of A?

U.S. Olympic Gymnast Morgan Hamm Announcing His Withdrawal From The Beijing Olympic Games
I have no idea the answer to this one, but now that Hamm’s twin brother Morgan is also out of the Olympics due to a nagging ankle injury, the Men's Gymnastics team is going into the team competition severely weakened and our medal chances have now been reduced significantly. (link)

5. And last but definitely not least, what will the reaction be to four-time Olympian Amanda Beard’s new anti-fur ad for PETA where she posed nude in front of an American flag?

U.S. Olympian Amanda Beard's PETA Ad - Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin. Don't Wear Fur.
Beard has chosen to bare her skin to help save animals’ skins. To find out more about Amanda’s feelings on fur and China’s role in the fur industry click here (and here).

Obviously there are tons of additional questions that could have been asked, but I’ll defer those to NBC’s Olympic coverage. For those of you interested, there were two questions that almost made the top 5: 1. Will 41-year-old swimmer Dara Torres medal in these Olympic Games (and is she really not doping)? and 2. How many current and former Texas Longhorns will medal over the next two weeks (Hook 'em Horns!)?

Pin It! - Pin A Picture From