Posted by: mrpeatie | August 14, 2008

Week One Olympic Wrap-Up

The first week of the Olympic Games in Beijing is almost complete and we’ve seen a bit of everything. From thrilling finishes and gritty performances to epic letdowns and grotesque injuries, the first week of competition has delivered on its promise of providing something for everyone

The Good
Michael Phelps has lived up to even the loftiest of expectations thus far (and they were some mighty lofty expectations). He has captured the gold in each of the 5 events he has competed in thru Thursday and has done so in world record time for each event. But it was the 4×100 relay that provided the most entertainment. The come-from-behind victory over the trash-talking French team is one of the most thrilling finishes you will ever see. It will go down as one of the greatest Olympic highlights ever.

The US Men’s gymnastic team entered the competition without its two best, and most popular stars in the Hamm brothers. The shorthanded team, now filled with alternates, was expected to finish in the middle of the pack. Exceeding all expectations, the boyz stepped it up and put on a gritty performance that earned them a bronze medal and even gave the eventual winners (China) a run for their money.

The Bad
There has been a bit of a hullabaloo over some aspects of the opening ceremony. A sequence of fireworks over Beijing was added using CGI just like in the movies. Not sure why all the fuss. Many peopled felt duped, but in the NBC coverage I watched, they mentioned clearly that the sequence of fireworks in question wasn’t real and gave reasons as to why.

The CGI fireworks were OK, but the lip-syncing was pretty shady.

The CGI fireworks were OK, but the lip-syncing was pretty shady.

The other opening ceremony controversy surrounds the cute Chinese girl who sang the Olympic theme song. Turns out the girl lip-synched the whole song and wasn’t the actual person who sang it. The real singer was another Chinese girl who was denied the performance because she simply wasn’t cute enough and had some crooked teeth. A bit shady perhaps, but that’s communism for ya. And shouldn’t we be upset about some bigger issues regarding China’s policies and decisions?

The US Women’s gymnastic team took the silver medal despite being the favorites to win the team competition. Many will blame the loss solely on the two falls by Alicia Sacramone. This isn’t really fair. First off, the two falls resulted in approximately 1.6 points in deductions. The US team lost by more then 2 points. Second, the Chinese team’s overall difficulty level was higher then that of the Americans so China actually started the competition with a several point lead. The falls didn’t help, but had she landed, it still probably wouldn’t have mattered.

There was also a bit of controversy over the age of the Chinese team. They barely look like teenagers, let alone the minimum required age of 16.

The Ugly
Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai sustained a horrific injury while attempting to lift 148kg. You can watch the video here (if it’s still up, NBC has been pulling it), but it isn’t pleasant and is not for the squeamish.



  1. Add Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson to ‘The Good’ category. They won gold and silver in the women’s all-around competition last night.

    Bravo ladies. Bravo.

  2. […] quick rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly from week 2 of the competition. You can check out week one’s wrap-up here. The […]

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