Monday, 18 August 2008

To Dream Of The Olympics

I've always loved the Olympics. I've watched every single opening ceremony since the 1988 Seoul Games, and have not missed a single torch-lighting ceremony since then either (that flaming arrow arching towards the torch in Barcelona was one of the most magical scenes ever). this year, Li Ning soaring through the air to light Beijing's cauldron was ranks as one of my favorites so far.

There's something magical about the Olympics that I love greatly. I used to DREAM about competing in them back when I was still active in sports, and this morning while watching the 400m heats, I was reminiscing about running on the track again (but then the thought of all that training I went through sent a shiver up my spine almost immediately).

This particular Olympics has been especially great, because I managed to catch a lot more of it thanks to Astro's great coverage and event timetables (no, this is not an advertorial, BTW).

For me, the Olympics is THE greatest sporting event ever. forget the bloody football leagues or the World Cup, no other sporting event holds as much magic as the Olympics. No other sporting event has as much glory, excitement and heartbreak in it.

This is where the greatest of the great gather in their sports, and go all out for their country, and for the greatest achievement a sportsman can achieve. What other tournament can you see the great Roger Federer playing DOUBLES once again? Where else can you see all the NBA stars on one team? And where else but the Olympics would you catch magical moments like these...

1) Guo Jing Jing sweeping the diving gold medals. I used to love watching Fu Mingxia diving in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Then Guo Jing Jing (who incidently won silver with Fu Mingxia in the 2000 Games, BTW) took over her mantle in 2004, and won her fourth gold medal yesterday. Now I can't decide who I like more (and who is hotter).

2) Usain Bolt shattering the 100m world record despite celebrating the victory BEFORE he crossed the finish line. Imagine how much faster the time would have been if he had gone all out to the end. Probably the most memorable 100m since that Ben Johnson vs Carl Lewis duel way back in 1988.

3) Lee Chong Wei's rubber set win over that Korean dude in the semi-finals. It'd been so long since we had something to celebrate during an Olympics, and that moment was a great one indeed. So what if he lost tamely in the final to a superior and more determined opponent? I doubt even Misbun Sidek at his prime would have beaten Lin Dan last night. (And for those who dismissed his achievement, go read THIS and screw yourself).

4) China's Cheng Fei faltering during the individual gymnastics's events. She'd led the Chinese team so brilliantly during the team event, and to see her make those mistakes during the vault and floor exercise was just sad. And watching her cry after the floor exercise was heartbreaking.

5) The 'Redeem Team' wiping the floor with both the hosts (led by Yao Ming) and the previous gold medalists Spain in the preliminaries. It's scary how far ahead the NBA team is compared with all the other teams that you wonder why they had to redeem themselves in the first place.

I missed Michael Phelps' eight gold medals though, damn.

Anyway, all you idiots who dismiss the Olympics as inconsequential and complain about it just because your bloody EPL team lost players to it... GO TO HELL. You have no idea what what you're missing, and probably never will.

Me, I'm hoping to catch more of the Olympics, but I keep having to go to the office to work. So inconsiderate right? Don't they know the Olympics is on? Hmph...

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