Wednesday, August 18, 2004

US, Australia Win Gold in Growing Up

Remember Sydney? Remember the bad blood between the US and Aussie swimming teams? Remember the shock the US received when they lost the Men's 4x100 Medley Relay? Remember Guitars?

That was then. Last night, it was the US' turn to shock the Aussies, winning the Men's 4x200 meter Freestyle Relay by .13 of a second. This is an event the Aussies hadn't lost in international competition since 1998. And who was the first person to congratulate the US?

The same Aussie who led the guitar strumming in 2000. Good on ya, Australia.

In Other Olympic News:

0 for 2. That's the Chinese in Team Gymnastics. Last night, it was the Romanians and Americans (again) and the Russians who shut them out. I have to agree with Russell over at Mean Mr. Mustard. I feel badly for the individual competitors, but since the Chicoms use athletics as a showplace for validating their system of government, anything that robs credence from a totalitarian regime is reason to celebrate.

And speaking of growing up, remember the hissy the Russian women threw at settling for silver in 2000? No? Well, they did. Very unsportsmanlike. Last night, they were genuinely thrilled to be on the podium period. What's Russian for Good Job?

Finally, a bit of home town bragging:

An Oregonian has done something no other American has done in 100 years. Mariel Zagunis, of Beaverton Oregon, won the Gold in Women's Saber. In the consolation match just prior, Sada Jacobsen won the Bronze to break a 20-year US medal drought in the sport, but Zagunis' Gold was the first US Gold in fencing since the 1904 Olympics.

To my younger, single brethren: Guys, she's single, she's into swords, and she's attending Notre Dame this fall. Need I say more?

While we still trail in Gold, the US has now taken first in the overall Medal Count. And Track & Field hasn't started in earnest yet. It's shaping up nicely for the USA.

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