SPORTS AVENGER 7/6/12

by TOM WEPPEL
OLYMPIC TRIALS
The last few weeks we’ve seen some sports competitions/events taking place…known as Olympic Trials…that were/are held to determine who will be participating in what event for whatever country, depending on the location. The 2012 Summer Games are being held in London, starting this month.
And there have been some interesting outcomes, to say the least.
In the U.S. Olympic Trials, held in Eugene, OR, we saw Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh both taking part in the 100-meter race. In this race, the three fastest girls would qualify to participate in London and represent the USA. In their all-out effort to go fast, the two women finished the race in a dead heat for the third and final qualifying slot.
Unfortunately, the Olympic Committee had not come up with a solution to determine how to break that kind of stalemate! I guess that is because 1) they never had to deal with that before, and 2) they figured they never WOULD have to deal with a tie!
After the race, the two girls sat down with race officials. They all figured the best thing to do would be to have a run-off, with the faster girl in the second race going to London.
Expect that the girls were both good friends and really didn’t feel like putting the other in a bad position. And so, they figured it would be best NOT to do the run-off. And so, Allyson Felix is going to race, while Tarmoh sits out. And when it is all said and done, maybe…just maybe…the U.S. Olympic officials will come up with a bonafide way to break ties!
Then, in the U.S. Swimming Trials, held in Omaha, Neb., Michael Phelps, who won eight individual Gold medals four years ago, qualified to compete in all of them once again this year…except he personally has chosen NOT to do the 200 free event, even though he had the best times of anyone who swam in these Trials! And so he will participate in only seven races…meaning he cannot equal his eight Golds from last time.
What?
I guess where I’m going here with this, is that maybe Phelps shouldn’t have even DONE this! If he knew he didn’t want to swim in one race, and represent the US in doing so, then why did he keep competing in all the races? All he had to do was let officials know he would not operate in all eight events in London, and then sit out so that he could be set and ready for the others he had a solid interest in! Instead, he now has set this up so that all those connected know and are aware that if an American wins the Gold in that one event, everyone will be totally aware that Phelps could’ve then won!
Crazy…
Then finally, we go to South Africa, where a guy named Oscar Pistorius was selected to represent the country and run in the 400-meter individual race.
There is one item to point out, though, in consideration of Pistorius making the South African squad.
Pistorius is an amputee…he has no legs.
I’m not lying…and I’m certainly not joking!
When I heard this come out, I did a total double-take! I personally am having a tough time understanding the philosophy and the comprehension in believing that Pistorius’ inclusion in doing this will still make the whole thing fair and straight-up equal! Whether you think that he can and will be better than all others…whether you believe he has no chance whatsoever…or whether you think the way he runs and operates is okay and legit…can be debated for hours, days, and weeks! And I don’t think it will or could be determined or resolved!
But the Olympic guidelines will be allowing South Africa to do this, and so I guess we shall see what happens! It will certainly generate tons of interest and discussion, to say the least!
Personally, I think it’s a ridiculous joke…the Olympic Games will now have lost their legitimacy and high standard of competition…
Let the Games begin? I guess…

LOS ANGELES LAKERS/NBA
Steve Nash is 38 years old. As you all heard, he was traded from the Suns to the Lakers…for draft picks, namely, two 1’s, two 2’s…and then given a three year contract, meaning he could be playing with the Lakers until he is 41…
Now…Steve isn’t the first old guy who will be finishing his career with the Lakers. There have been a number of other standout players who ended up playing their final years out in L.A., namely Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, just to name a few.
Not all of them had success in a Laker uniform, to say the least. Some won titles…others didn’t make the playoffs.
And so, bringing Steve Nash in to the Laker mix…at 38 years old, and certainly in the twilight of his career…should be very interesting. Certainly, people from all walks…from Kobe, all the way on down to the diehard Laker fans…are wanting Nash to help contribute to another title, with a good shot at beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, who just won the Western Conference. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.
By the way…if the Lakers DO win another title, it would be Kobe’s sixth ring…

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october, 2021

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