I know I've mentioned recently how much I enjoy the Olympics. One thing that always amazes me is the level of competition. I find it very hard to comprehend how the competitors can always be getting so much faster and stronger. World Records at the Olympics are pushed around like they are meaningless. How long can people continue to destroy these records? Is there no lower limit to the times that the competitors can put up?
For example, consider the 100 m dash. Before the final race I predicted that Usain Bolt would win the race with a time of 9.69 seconds. This was a new world record by 3 hundredths of a second. I was right on with my prediction (feel free to check with Alison), but he could have run so much faster. With 20 meters to go he was already celebrating with his arms out, looking side to side and pounding his chest. Another prediction: sometime soon he'll easily surpass this time (Consider that the race in Beijing was held with no headwind or tailwind, Almost all of the previous world records were set with tailwinds in place).
Obviously, one of the most exciting things to watch has been Michael Phelps' miraculous run. He is the greatest Olympian of all time. Al an I have been Tivo-ing the Olympics every night and we'll start watching after they've been going for an hour or two. This method has its pros and cons. On the one hand, we don't have to watch the commercials. On the other, we're up far later at night than we would like to be. How can we miss all these good races?
The lesson to take from Phelp's seventh gold medal race is to "Never give up." With 4 feet to go, Phelps is apparently 3 feet behind (He is on the left in the picture below). His decision to swim hard to the finish allowed him to win another gold medal by 1 one-hundredth of a second. Amazing.