Giant on the move
This is one of those pictures that really makes you wish we had a caption competition.
Hang on a minute … Why don’t we have a caption competition just for once? No prizes, I’m afraid, but if you feel inspired send in your ideas in the comments. The serious caption we sent out with the pic is below, but I’m sure you can do better…
PHOTO: David Svoboda of Czech Republic fails a jump on horse HunHun during the men’s riding show jumping event of the modern pentathlon competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
The more I watch the women’s gymnastics competitions the more I’m torn between amazement at the athleticism on display and horror at what can seem at times like cruel and unusual punishment.
Most elite athletes put themselves through gruelling training regimes — not to mention the mental toll that the stress of competition must take — but few are quite so young as the women’s gymnasts
China had just lost to the U.S. but even though their team was out the crowd’s cheering, jeering, floor stomping and plastic stick drumming was just warming up on a 14-hour day of men’s volleyball play.
One match later, the Chinese fans were wildly rooting for Egypt over Russia.
Remember the Black Power salutes from the podium in Mexico 1968?
The 2008 Beijing Olympics medal ceremonies might not produce anything to match that, but there has been no shortage of drama so far.
In the full emotional spectrum, we have had:
Anger – Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian stormed off the podium to dump his bronze on the mat in a protest against referees.
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, chided Usain Bolt on Thursday for showing a lack of respect to his rivals after his sprint double at the Beijing Games.
Maybe it’s a generational thing but I doubt if a single person lucky enough to be in the Bird’s Nest on for his 200 metres gold and world record on Wednesday, or when he won his 100 metres in such audacious style, would agree.
It looks tough enough on the surface. Lord knows what is happening under the water. This is a contact sport with a vengeance.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt completed a breathtaking sprint double at the Beijing Games on Wednesday, breaking the 200 metres world record that many had thought unbreakable to take his second Olympic gold medal.
The contrast between this and his winning run in the 100 could hardly have been more marked, as this time he gave it everything he had to go under the old best mark, Michael Johnson’s 19.32, by two hundredths of a second.
It seems like silence has been outlawed at the Beijing Olympics. Every second between every performance is filled with cheesy American rock, or the sort of music reminiscent of the moment the
hero comes to the rescue in a mediocre sub-Spielberg movie.
This is obviously an attempt to create an atmosphere and has been lifted wholesale from American sport. But as someone who has been brought up with the roar of the crowd at Fratton Park (Portsmouth Football Club’s home ground for non-British readers) I have to say it jars.
Tune in to the unfortunately timed day 12 podcast from Beijing, recorded shortly before Usain Bolt’s crack at the 200 metres, to learn about:
The alternative alternative Olympics medals table
The great gold medal con trick
The ping pong bong
Who could resist? It’s eight minutes of nonsense, with an old joke at the end, and features Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Padraic Halpin, Karolos Grohmann and me.
When super-heavyweight lifter Matthias Steiner won his first Olympic gold medal, he kissed a photo of the woman he had buried in her wedding dress last year.
The hulking German’s tale of love and loss has moved millions of viewers around the world, and the image of Steiner holding up the photo of Susann, who died after a car crash, was splashed across German websites on Wednesday.