#173 lightning bolt

Usain Bolt, a couple days to his 22nd birthday, broke the 100m and 200m sprint record. He broke Carl Lewis record clocked in 1984. Usain Bolt, 6ft 5in tall, is the fastest man on earth…how long will this record last?

Born in Jamaica on 21 August 1986, after this victory, he might consider changing citizenship?

He will be a loss for one country and a gain for the adopted…Olympics in 2012 will be in London. Will he run for London then and bring glory to that nation?

It appears those descending from the African race are dominating the track and field events today and are world’s fastest runners…an interesting phenomenon!  

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#171 olympic medal for singapore

In 1960, weightlifter Tan Howe Liang, at age 27, was the first to win silver medal at Olympic Games held in Rome. He came to Singapore at a tender age with his parents but had to drop out of school (secondary one) at the age of 14 when his father died. He stumbled on this sport at the age of 20.

Last evening, Singapore saw a silver medal won at Olympics in Beijing on table-tennis. The three women (Li Jiawei, Wang Yuegu and Tang Tianwei)  were originally born in China and I believe had received training since young in China.

Singapore today has her first generation of Singaporeans, that is, born and bred in Singapore but somehow was unable to breed some good athletes. Is this the result of being too well provided for and therefore too comfortable to achieve and endure some tough training? Or parents are pragmatists to realise that sports cannot bring steady rice-bowl to feed the family?

On 2nd thought, Singapore has produced some strong aquatic contenders in swimming, sailing and rowing.

Will there be a surge of interests in sports in the schools? Can we see greater interests placed in schools? 

Congratulations to Singapore for winning the silver medal losing out to China…table-tennis being their national past time sport.

Congratulations to ALL our athletes who represented Singapore at this Olympic Games! Getting into the qualifying rounds breaking personal best record is no mean feat either!

#168 talent

James Arthur Baldwin, American author and critic, once said,

Beyond talent lie all the usual words:

discipline, love, luck —

but, most of all, endurance.

I’d been keeping tabs and watching the Olympics when I can.

Congratulations to ALL the Olympians…not only those who clinch the medals.

Naturally there are many surprises. Take for instance the Australian 4X200m freestyle relay swimming team smashed the world record. The decision to get a new team of swimmers for the event clinched the gold for the nation.

That I observe: the body is not a mere machine but one created and needing the necessary rests for the body to recover. Mental endurance is not enough.

#152 ‘against the odds’

Imagine being the fastest athlete or person in the world…what glory indeed.

Olympic Games 2008 is 16 days away (August 8th)…and BBC International has this wonderful series introducing those participating from around the world who are racing ‘against the odds’ of which I quote the following:

  • Samiya Yuusf Omar (16 years old): “Somalia is a country ridden by more than 17 years of lawlessness and civil wars. Its institutions and the national infrastructure have been destroyed, but sport is the one thing that has survived the scars of annihilation. Samiya comes from a destitute family with no breadwinner. For her and her relatives, athletics offers the chance of a route out of poverty and away from the violence; of a better life and prospects for the future. ” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7492967.stm

 

  • Nery Brenes (22; Costa Rica): “According to his coach, Walter Salazar, he’s the best athlete ever to have come from the country. Nery was born in the impoverished port town of Limon, on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It is a town being consumed by gang violence. Around 30 people have been killed there so far this year. Walking beneath the huge trees of Limon’s tattered central square, he told the BBC: “Right now this town is going through a difficult time.There are a lot of deaths. Young kids killing young kids. There is a lot of drugs. So I’m just trying to be like someone that they can see improving life.”” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7493000.stm

 

  • Vijender Kumar: “The son of a bus driver who worked overtime to pay for his coaching, Vijender is India’s unsung champion boxer. “My blood boils when everybody goes gaga over cricket,” says the 22-year-old, one of five boxers in India’s modest Olympics contingent to Beijing this summer. “It is not easy becoming a boxer in a cricket-crazy country. People here think boxers are violent or mad.” Boxing in India is a colonial legacy. The first club opened in the western city of Mumbai (then called Bombay) in 1925. The first national championship took place exactly a quarter of a century later.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7482661.stm
 

 

  • Ziad Richa: “Ziad Richa, 40, grew up to the sound of gunshots and explosions. Like many others who lived in Beirut during the civil war of 1975-1990, his childhood hopes were more about survival than winning Olympic gold. Now he sells BMWs for a living, and is getting ready to compete in the Beijing games. His sport, appropriately or not, is shooting. Clay targets, of course. “We are born in this country as hunters. In everybody’s house you will find a minimum of one gun. But I will tell you honestly I carry a gun in a peaceful way…I would like to try to achieve something to help the people of Lebanon. I want to come back and give people happiness and joy. The Olympics – it’s a dream for me”.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7492974.stm

  • Hem Bunting (Cambodia or Khmer Republic): “Bunting is one of nine children from a farming family in the remote province of Stung Treng, where sports officials spotted his talent at a provincial event and brought him to the capital. As he sits down on his simple wooden bed, with a mosquito net nailed above, he casts his eyes down the room. There are dozens of similar beds with barely enough room to walk. This is where Cambodia’s elite athletes live, all together in an improvised dormitory overlooking the swimming pool at Phnom Penh’s crumbling Olympic Stadium. The sun has yet to rise when Bunting makes his way down to the dirt track to start his warm-up routine. Now he pounds the traffic-choked streets around Phnom Penh in the run-up to the Olympics.  The elite athletes say they are often treated as second-class citizens by staff at the stadium.  Bunting and his training partner Cheng Chandara mutter that it all boils down to cash. He receives an allowance of less than $50 a month which leaves him hard-pressed to cover his basic living expenses. A pair of running shoes costs around double that amount, and with no corporate sponsorship Bunting finds it tough to buy the equipment he needs.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7493076.stm

 

  • Bernandette Baczko: “I began judo when I was nine, which turned out to be the ideal age for a girl, though I didn’t know that at the time. I have three older brothers, and was brought up as a bit of a tomboy, but it was actually a friend, a classmate who first took me to a training session. I fell in love with it straight away.” Bernadett advanced in the sport with great strides, encouraged by all her family, but especially her mother. “It took me three years to come to terms with the loss of my mother, and with all the injuries…only now can I talk about these things without crying.”” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7511259.stm

I shall be looking out for these athletes at the Games.

I wonder if these athletes were successful at this forthcoming Games, will they come under pressure to take performance enhanced drugs to improve their prowess?

#151

I wonder how many athletes and sportspersons who qualify the Olympic Games 2008 come from the country where each was born — or one representing the adopted countries?

Sports have become big money for an individual!

Take football as an example…increasingly, there are more Africans or South Americans representing the big leagues in UK or Europe. This is one situation where one can actually — sell their talents? or promoting their skills by representing another country to win the accolades of the year. If one plays for one’s country, the individual is probably paid pittance!!!

#146 what is the human limit?

Can world athletes compete at any international events without taking performance enhanced drugs?

What is the use of competing when an athlete takes something to boost his performance? Will he honestly be proud of the fact that he/she is the fastest person in world? Is this a show of human prowess? What is the use of clocking the fastest time then — i.e. with the aid of high performance drugs? Will these drugs not give side-effects eventually? 

On the intellectual front, either an individual has it or none…so why not the physical aspect of the athletes?

Talent is based on man’s natural abilities of an individual through the nourishment of food and physical skills — without the use of enhanced performance drugs.

In the forthcoming Youth Olympics in 2010, will one see the teens in some countries take enhanced performance drugs just to win the event? Will this drug thwart one’s growth? Will there be freaked humans?

If so, will there be a tampering of genes to enhance one’s performance?

#74

Now I’m going to lift a section of news reported:

The Dalai Lama, on a visit to Japan, said China had the right to host the Games but blamed Beijing for the unrest, saying there was no freedom of speech in his homeland.

“They really deserve” the Olympics, he said. “In spite of the unfortunate events in Tibet, my position has not changed,” he said.

Pro-Tibet groups, human rights activists and other campaigners have shadowed the flame since it was lit in Greece on March 24, starting its 20-country journey across the globe.

Protesters disrupted the torch relay this week in London and Paris, where officials had to extinguish the flame several times.

There was no major trouble in San Francisco after organisers shortened the course and switched the route. The torch is now in Buenos Aires for a planned 13-kilometre (eight-mile) relay through the Argentine capital.

The White House on Thursday shrugged off concerns about US protests targeting the flame and vowed to keep pushing China on human rights, and holding talks with the Dalai Lama.

 

I have many unanswered questions to the going-ons using the Olympic Games platform — personally I see this as the opportunists using this Games to vent and stir unrests and chaos.

The protestors in UK and France have brought this upon themselves — many have seen the chaos and unrests mounting — do you think China will allow such protest groups during the Olympic Games? Haha…Will the terrorist groups disguise themselves as part of the protest groups? Then the blame-game begins…

Do the Tibetans want a theocracy state or the young want to move on with the times? Why did the Dalai forsake his people in 1959? Why are the world leaders rallying behind him on this ‘label’ of ‘China’s past track records of human rights’?

Who is right? Who is wrong? Can anyone tell another how to govern one’s country?

Why is the human rights issue, the land Tibet and the Dalai taking centerstage at this Olympic Games — is the Games not a display and about the sportspersons and athletes?

Are we missing the point here? If this is, then scrap the Olympic Games…to the glee of human rights’ organisations and its leaders!