August 15, 2008

I LOVE the Olympics!

For obvious reasons, all my sports passion gets truely satisfied with the Olympics. I am a big supporter of putting in the effort and coming out with the result. The Olympics are a real testament to the human spirit, and if you are not convinced, I urge you to watch the Paralympics, which is my true favorite.

The father of my godchild and true legend Brett once told me about plants (he has an affinity for them) : “It wants to live” and when it comes to Paralympics its a true testament to being human beings and not human doings. I grew up with a best friend who only had use of his one arm after a nasty car accident and the one thing he taught me was that he was normal and that there was nothing different about him. In fact, until we were 8 years old, he outswam, outbiked, out treeclimbed and outate me on every occasion, with ONE arm.

So the highlights of my personal Olympics so far….

Adj. 1. unparalleled – radically distinctive and without equal; “he is alone in the field of microbiology”; “this theory is altogether alone in its penetration of the problem”; “Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint”; “craftsmen whose skill is unequaled”; “unparalleled athletic ability”; “a breakdown of law unparalleled in our history”

Now I`m going to go out there and say that Phelps is the greatest participating athlete in the world today, across all sports. I already hear the synics going crazy in the left wing, but hear me out:

14 Gold Medals & 2 Silver Medals in 2 Olympics.
He`s 23 years old, nowhere near his physical capacity.
He has to swim heats, semi-finals and finals from 10am to 11pm every day.
He has single handedly raised the level of all swimming in the last 4 years.

Big statement that, but count the world records in the 4 years preceeding the “Phelps Phenomenon” and count the world records in the years since. Yes, we have super duper aero bionic swimsuits this year, but go back and count the records leading into this year. More than ever.

I salute you Mr Phelps.

Next up we have a new breed of sprinter. Usain Bolt. Lets have a look how far ahead of the world he is, after easing up with around 30m to go. I initially thought it was 15m, but after watching the replay he dropped his arms at 30m to go, and clocked a world record. How far was he still ahead of the other 7 fastest human beings on the planet?

That far. Did we mention he is 6ft5 and the nicest guy on the planet, oh, and this is his 1st season of doing the 100m seriously, as he is a 200m specialist. What I love is that he starts slow (6ft5 getting out the blocks aint pretty) but by 30m he is 3 steps ahead, pure, unadulterated speed.

1 week to go and the triathlons are today and tomorrow, the ladies race was fantastic with Emma Snowsill taking it out hard on the 1st kilometer of the run, obliterating the competition. I liked her little handsticks she ran with, definately gonna try that out on one of my runs this week.

By the way, my athlete savings program I wrote about last week – I have kicked that off with style and just put my first deposit into that account. Felt great.

Ciao. Raoul

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