Like I said before, I don't like the mainstream things in life, I enjoy forming my own opinion about everything. The Olympics is formed of a large (too large if you ask me) contingent of sporting events, some that don't get any exposure until the Olympics themselves. I intend to watch as much of the following as possible:
- Basketball (redemption, if not, will concrete my reasons for not watching the NBA)
- Beach Volleyball
- Kayaking (not canoeing)
- Cycling (especially the velodrome stuff)
- Handball (can't decide if it's more basketball or soccer)
- Shooting (don't know why this is an olympic sport but whatever)
- Swimming (they hog all the coverage though, so I might boycott)
- Table Tennis (don't know how humans can react that fast)
- TRACK AND FIELD*
- Triathlon (some of these guys can run a sub-30 min 10k after everything!)
- Water Polo
Ok, this deserves its own special paragraph. Or list. Something.
- Men's 100m- Of the 3 medal contenders, 2 are current/former world record holders and the other has the fastest time ever ran but was wind-aided. I picked Tyson Gay to win, but mostly cuz he's the American. American vs. Jamaica. Watch this one, short but sweet.
- Men's 400m- The fact that this is being run at the Olympics only makes it more exciting because it has a larger audience but the race could have been settled at the Oly Trials in July. The "Lone Star" 6'1" 155 lbs skinny white kid Jeremy Wariner vs. LeShawn Merrit, the darkhorse (no racial pun intended, he's just not the favorite, I swear). Wariner never lost for years, but this year Merrit surfaced as a legitamate threat and beat Wariner in the spring and at the U.S. Oly Trials. However, Wariner and Merrit have raced twice since the trials and Wariner ran 43.8 or .7 something insanely fast. My money is on Wariner, but you never know.
- Men's 800m- This was one of the greatest races I've ever seen in the Trials, but the Americans won't be quite as prominent on this level. However, pay attention to what the Oregon sophomore Andrew Wheating does, he always exceeds expectations, so I'm stoked to see what he does. The real race is the 18 yr old kid from Sudan who wins pole-to-pole and he does it in Nike Zoom Forevers. Those are XC shoes. Heavy ones. No clue how but he does it. The reason why this could be exciting is a Cuban and a Russian (Athens gold medal winner) Borzakovsky will be hunting.
- Men's 1500m- Ok, we never do well anything above this distance, but we have one of the most technichally sound racers ever to run the event: Bernard Lagat. He almost beat the WR holder last time in Athens, this is his race to bring the gold home for his adopted country, the USA. That is his whole goal, I hope he does it.
- Men's 5k- THIS is going to be one of the greatest events of the olympics (stay tuned for a later entry when I rant about T&F not getting one minute of live coverage the whole Olympics, and this is why). Bernard Lagat (previously mentioned) won both the 1500 and 5k at the World Championships last year. An amazing feat. The stick in the spokes this time around is the following: Kenenisa Bekele, the World Record holder in the 5 and 10k. People are betting on Lagat because of his flawless tactics and strategy combined with his lethal finishing speed. However, some forget that Bekele "The Great" ran a 52 his last lap of a 10k this year. Sadly, I think Bekele wins, but it'll cost him.
- Men's Marathon- This is crazy. We, the USA, have a legitimate shot at a medal in the Marathon. Ryan Hall, the kid who bonked at the Arcadia Mile trying to hang on to Alan Webb back in high school, has an outside shot at this one. The thing is, the WR might not stand either so he's gonna have to be on his game or he's through. Too many elite Africans there to make you pay for any mistake along the 26.2 miles.
Sorry that was so long, but it's a special occasion.
P.S. While you're in the sporting mood, check this out. A man from Sandy, UT is in the middle of a record attempt of the Appalachian Trail. Over 2000 miles in 47 days. Insane.