#175 the true olympian spirit

That capture my heart are not just the medal winners but that put a smile on my face and lift my spirit.

Japan’s Ai Fukuhara  who lost to China’s best table-tennis player Zhang Yining, said beamingly:

“I played very well today and I’m very satified. I demonstrated everything I learned in the training, so I give myself 90 points (out of 100),” the 19-year-old said, her eyes twinkling with joy.

Sadly the American track and field teams were not able to win a medal: men had won since 1924 and women, 1948. Unfortunately both men’s and women’s relay team dropped the baton! The Jamaicans dominated these events. Tyson Gay, one of the fastest and best athlete, admitted without excuse he disappointed the team when he dropped the baton at the men’s relay –it was just one of those days. I admire Tyson Gay for his graciousness and he IS indeed one great athlete in the world!

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#174 ‘Palestinian swimmer beats all odds’

Palestinian Zakia Nassar is a true Olympian at heart and she deserves a gold medal for her spirit and valor…indeed she has fulfilled her Olympic dream.

I lifted this from chinadaily.com.cn…

A 21-year-old Palestinian swimmer embodied  the Olympic spirit and fulfilled her lifelong ambition to compete at the Olympics last week and she deserves a gold medal for her tenacity.

Zakia Nassar had neither a coach nor access to an Olympic-sized pool for the past year but didn’t let that stop her.

Nassar, who is currently studying dentistry, had no option but to train on her own at a 12m public pool.

The coach Nassar had a year ago left her to her own devices when the 25m pool in Bethlehem was closed down.

“There is no pool in Jenin where I am studying,” she said.

“So I can swim only once or twice a month when I go back to my parents’ home in Bethlehem.”

There is a 50m pool in nearby Nazareth, but the Israeli government does not permit her to use it.

Nassar said it was often embarrassing trying to train at the public pool, with other people swimming and splashing around.

“Sometimes people cut across me, and others would get angry when I swam into them. But quite a few made way for me,” she said.

“I got so depressed sometimes I couldn’t help crying, but my parents and friends encouraged me, reminding me that I had to keep training if I really wanted to go to the Olympics.”

It was only when Nassar arrived in China a month ago that she finally got the opportunity to swim in a 50m pool and enjoy the benefits of having a coach.

When she at last took part in the Games, she swam the 50 m in 31.97 seconds, an improvement of 7 seconds on her personal best.

Despite her time being good enough only for 79th place, Nassar said it was “the most beautiful moment” of her life.

“Participating in a race at the Olympics was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said.

“It felt like I was flying.”

But she is not sure if she will go to the next Olympics.

“I won’t compete unless I’ve done the right training. But as swimming is in my soul, I’ll probably be a coach in my spare time.”

 

#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!  

#169 veteran swimmer

The swimmer whom I have been looking out for is Dara Torres who continues competitive swimming at the age of 41, won the silver medal in 50m freestyle at the Olympics losing out to a much younger German Britta Steffen.

Dara Torres returned to competitive swimming in year 2000 after 8 years of retirement. One of her secret weapons was resistance stretching invented by Bob Cooley — the flexibility regiment. 

For her, age is just a number and not cap limit on one’s dream and aspiration. She has set precedence for women to remain in competitive swimming inspite of age and family responsibilities. She has a 15-month-old baby and receiving quality time training for the Olympics.

She has helped the world to realise that quality training is more important…

#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.

#166 pain in triumph

It is so refreshing to hear the young swimmers who broke the world record at the Olympics saying that there was so much pain…they recover after some good rests. Do they have sports therapists to guide them through the process?

Indeed in every triumph or success, pain is evident.

There is great joy in the pain!

One example is a woman through labor pains…delight and joy when the couple look at their new-born born out of love and their own flesh and blood.

Here at the Olympics, those gold medalists who broke world record in every area of sports share the same pain and joy of triumph at the same time!

#163 opening ceremony of olympic games

 

(photo taken from 08ssolyopencer15-600: thank-u)

Magnificent…dazzling…moments of ecstatic joy and pleasure!

Display of fireworks splashed across the sky for those living in Beijing, outside the Bird’s Nest stadium.

There was a blend of old and new, modern and ancient, young and old through history and the arts — a dapple of chinese culture in historical perspective unfolds — using the scroll as backdrop which opened up fully to the lighting of the Olympic Torch cauldron as a way to officially start the Games on August 8th, 2008 [080808] at 8pm Beijing time.

The most spectacular was the first item on programme: 2000 (0r 2008) men clad in traditional costume standing in front of a drum to each performer. Well-thought out choreographed movements and music drum beat for eyes and ears. Brilliant blend to the first sounds of music man created.

Instead of releasing real doves in the air, the use of human hands crossed to movements to form the pattern of dove flying out of human hearts! Peace…from within flowing out to without.

The pure angelic voices of the children choir graced the occasion — specially composed?

The Olympic Games is one occasion when countries around the world unite regardless of race, religion, color or creed — 204 countries. I don’t even know the location of some of the smaller countries the athletes hailed from .

The opening and close of Olympic Games through history have been a display of man’s ingenuity and creativity — each Games brings fresh new display that is beyond words to describe…there is no comparison or one out-flung the other…such is the magnanmity and POWER of MAN.