I hate this part of the summer. It’s hot. I’m in North Carolina so it’s humid as hell. My hair doesn’t look it’s shiny awesomey best (and trust me I have great hair). There are no sports worth watcing on a regular basis. (Die, baseball! DIE!) My one shining bastion of hope is NASCAR, and that is only on Saturday or Sunday. Alas, I have no tv right now. (Product of moving and Time Warner Cable hating my guts). So I missed the one sporting event of the week that I actually look forward too. Yes, I followed along on the internet, but it’s not the same. When one cannot see the racecars crash, does it really happen? One of those questions we may never have an answer to.
Sunday, Carl Edwards won his 4th race of the season at Pocono. Carl Edwards is probably the least offensive driver on the track as far as I’m concerned, (and I’m qualifying that statement with “who actually has a chance to win a race”, there are plenty of sucky, inoffensive drivers, but who cares about them?) so gracious and smiley after he wins. Even though he’s not my favorite driver on the track, I certainly don’t begrudge him a win. He does those cute backflips. Thank GOD Kyle Busch didn’t win. Now him, him I hate.
Also, Carl has a killer body.
What else is going on in the world of sports? I heard that Manny guy got sent to some other team. You know, the guy that wouldn’t shut up about getting traded off one of the best teams in baseball. The one with the bad hair? I think he went to the Dodgers. (Who may also be a good team. I don’t know. I should probably be reading Lady Andrea’s baseball ranking posts…)
On the Olympics front it looks like China may not have been the best place to hold the Games. Smog anyone? Also, egregious human rights violations (Free Tibet!), massive censorship, and a good chance that a fairly large portion of their athletes are breaking the rules.
Meet Jian Yuyuan. Along with He Kexin, she represents China’s best hope at knocking USA off the gold medal podium step in gymnastics. She’s also probably too young to compete. Look at her. Does that girl look a day over 12? Well, her passport says she’s about to be 17. (An althete must be atleast 16 in order to compete in the Olympic Games) Funny, because little over a year ago she and Kexin both competed in a U-15 gymnastics meet. As in, you must be UNDER 15 years old to compete in this meet. When the New York Times and other news outlets picked up on the story, Chinese Olympic officials quickly sent off copies of the girls passports which listed them at the appropriate age. However, other records of their ages from different events, the U-15 meet as mentioned, and public pronouncements, the girls are probably as young as 14. In fact multiple Chinese sites and records have Kexin’s birthday as Jan 1, 1994 and Jian’s is reportedly Oct 1, 1993. Clearly 14. China has conveniently blocked access to many of these sites.
Now, some may say this is sour grapes. The media is bringing this up because there is an excellent chance that these two girls are going to spank the Americans on uneven bars and potentially ruin our chances at the all around gold. But if the Olympic Committee set the age at 16, then that is the age they should be. Why even have standards and rules if you aren’t going to enforce them? I think it’s pretty convenient that China suddenly produced these passports, which just happened to be issued on Feb 14, 2008 (!!!). There was no need for these girls to have a passport BEFORE this? If they are gymnasts who can compete on an international level, there is a good chance that they have left China at least once prior to 2008 to compete. So where are their old passports? So were they lying about the girls ages at a fairly insignificant U-15 championship meet? Or are they lying now, when their girls have a shot at bringing home Olympic gold, in their home country? Hmm, I wonder what event I would lie about my age in order to compete in…
One of China’s best male swimmers, Ouyang Kunpeng and his coach, received life-time bans from the sport for doping violations leading up to the games. A life-time ban. Seriously. That’s A LOT of doping going on. Usually for a first time or minor doping offense the ban is around 2 years. Now times that by forever, and that’s the kind of doping this guy was doing…
Not that American’s are immune from the doping allegations. One of our own swimmers, Jessica Hardy, tested positive at the Olympic qualifying meet for a banned substance. As of now, she is not a member of the US Olympic swim team, (where she was set to compete in as many as 4 events), pending the outcome of her appeal. Unfortunately for Jessica, the Olympics are 3 days away and the test results only came back a few weeks ago. She will have to appeal to the highest arbitration court in the sport and accept whatever their ruling is because she doesn’t have enough time to take her case through the normal process. She tested positive for Clenbuterol, which is an asthma medication but also acts as a stimulant, rushing more oxygen to your lungs and bloodstream when you take a breath (quite the handy drug for swimming). Now Jessica actually has a decent case for beating this charge. She was tested 3 times at the qualifying meet, the first test was clean, the second failed, and the third was clean. The timing between all three tests were fairly close, and some experts have speculated that she would have had to go immediately after her first test and taken the banned substance in order for it to have worked through her system to register as extremely low levels on her second test and zero on her third. Good luck to you Jessica.
I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. I feel like Olympics are going to be a spectacular disaster. Who is cheating? Will this smog ever let up? ( I think the smog is only going to help the Chinese. How is anyone not born in China going to be able to BREATHE while competing?) Also, they are jailing protesters, blocking the internet, and doing all sorts of other crazy stuff. I think the news surrounding the Olympics is going to be more interesting for the events themselves. My one and only hope? That Coach K loses his mind coaching Team USA basketball and returns to Duke a broken shell of a man. YEAH mental break down!! Come on massive NBA egos, work your magic!