blank

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY AT OLYMPICS

by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

SYDNEY, Australia — The Olympics end today. The final medals will be decided. But I’m ready to name my own winners and losers of the past few weeks.

By the way, I am a purist.

Only gold …and tin.

Olympic Comeback

* Gold: To out-of-retirement swimmers Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres. They came. They saw. They delivered.

* Tin: To French track diva Marie-Jose Perec. She came. She saw. She ran away.

New Olympic Event

* Gold: Triathlon. Every time you watch it, you think “grueling.”

* Tin: Trampoline. Every time you watch it, you think “gym class.”

Spectator Event

* Gold: Beach volleyball. No one’s watching the ball.

* Tin: Table tennis. No one can see the ball.

Endorsement Opportunities

* Gold: Marion Jones. Every company in America would have her.

* Tin: C.J. Hunter. Even the doughnut shop doesn’t want him.

Olympic Excuse

* Gold: Aussie boxer Bradley Hore, 18, who couldn’t make weight because he’d grown 2 inches since qualifying.

* Tin: The Kazakhstan coach, nabbed with 15 vials of human growth hormone. He said it was for his baldness.

Olympic Quote

* Gold: The Italian medalist who said before his drug test: “Cut me open. All you’ll find is pasta and marinara sauce.”

* Tin: The Australian walker who was disqualified 200 meters from winning her 20-kilometer race. When asked what she needed, she said, “A gun to shoot myself.”

Shocking Moment

* Gold: When Rulon Gardner, the unheralded Wyoming farm boy, beat the unbeatable Siberian Bear, Alexandre Karelin, in Greco-Roman wrestling.

* Tin: Finding out they eat kangaroos down here — with barbecue sauce.

Olympic Sportsmanship

* Gold: To tae kwon do’s Esther Kim, who sacrificed her spot so her best friend, Kay Poe, could go to these Olympics. Good on ya, Esther.

* Tin: U.S. swimmer Amy Van Dyken. She spits in the lane of the opponent next to her. Yuck.

Olympic Spirit

* Gold: Aguida Agalar, the marathoner from war-torn East Timor. Finished third-from-last — and still kissed the ground.

* Tin: U.S. men’s basketball team. Can finish first — and still lose interest.

Olympic State of Denial

* Gold: C.J. Hunter.

* Tin: NBC.

Most Photogenic Aussie

* Gold: Pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva. Think Heather Locklear.

* Tin: Long jumper Jai Taurima. Think Weird Al Yankovic.

Olympic Water Story

* Gold: Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea. He gave new meaning to the words “swim slow.”

* Tin: The sharks in Sydney Harbor. Gave new meaning to the words “swim fast.”

Home Team Performance

* Gold: Cathy Freeman, the 400-meter gold medalist, who helped unite her nation, black and white.

* Tin: Whoever set the vault 5 centimeters too low. No wonder the gymnasts were black and blue.

Olympic Secret

* Gold: To USA Track & Field, which hides its drug-testing results better than Los Alamos hides its nuclear secrets.

* Tin: NBC’s delayed TV broadcast. I’ll let you in on something: The Olympics actually ended last week. They just haven’t been televised yet.

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or albom@freepress.com. Catch Mitch’s radio shows — “Albom in the Afternoon” 3-6 p.m. weekdays and “Monday Sports Albom” 7-9 p.m. Mondays — on WJR-AM (760).

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

blank
Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

🛍 For just $2.99/mo or $29.99/year, you get access to every weekly issue

🎁 All proceeds will be donated to help the daily operations of the orphanage, Have Faith Haiti Mission

🗞 Paid subscribers also get to hear directly from the kids through the “Have Faith Haiti Chronicles.” It’s a monthly/quarterly-ish newsletter written and published by students in a media and journalism class.

blank

Subscribe for bonus content and giveaways!