Friday, August 15, 2008
The Olympics: watching the games unfold, live
I had a video tape of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics that I used to watch over and over until the thinned tape got caught in the player mechanism and broke. I just spliced it back again so I can relive the legendary battle between decathletes Daley Thompson of Great Britain and Jurgen Hingsen of Germany which ended with Thompson recording an Olympic best 8847 points earning him the gold.
Not much less did I enjoy watching over and over Joan Benoit run into the history books by winning the first ever women’s Olympic marathon, and how Carlos Lopez of Portugal, at 42, defied age, the searing heat, and the competition in winning the gold in the men’s marathon.
That was a long time ago.
Today, thanks to satellite technology and cable TV, I can watch the games unfold, live, in my living room. The more techno-savvy ones enjoy the games on their PCs, laptops, and 3G mobile phones.
The athletics competition has started at the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. The battle for Olympic gold in the 100 meters between the world’s best sprinters from Jamaica, the United States, and Canada has begun to unravel. Maria Mutola’s attempt, at age 35, to win a second 800 meter gold for Mozambique eight years after her first in Sydney in 2000 has also commenced.
For runners, running enthusiasts and running fans, this is where the story is.
Our own Henry Dagmil and Marestela Torres will try their luck in the long jump. Both will definitely be facing great odds, and improving on their record best jumps would be achievements enough.
We should be proud of them even for just standing up to the overwhelming competition.