1. Usain Bolt, Fastest Man Alive
I believe you might have heard of him. (Click on the picture to read the accompanying article; it’s hilarious.)
2. The Style. Usain’s gold shoes (see above). Sanya Richards’s arm sleeves. Gail Devers’s fingernails gave me nightmares as a child. And let’s not forget Flo-Jo. Even if there was an equivalent to the LAZR swimsuit in track and field, the athletes would probably find some way to make sure theirs looked different from everyone else’s.
3. Dayron Robles, 110 Meter Hurdles Gold Medalist
What can I say? I’m a sucker for a cute guy with glasses.
4. The History
All of the Track and Field (then called Athletics) events contested at the first modern Olympics in 1896 are still part of the competition today. Of course, there have been a few advances in technique since then. Then there are legends like Jim Thorpe, Wilma Rudolph, and Jesse Owens, and bizarre incidents like Zola Budd and Mary Decker Slaney. These are the stories my father told us over the dinner table. And people say I’m a little odd.
5. LaShawn Merrit, 400m Gold Medalist
Upsets are sexy.
6. The Relays
There’s something really funny about world-class athletes competing to carry a little aluminum stick around in a circle. It reminds me of elementary school gym. Also, rarely do you get to see a proverbial phrase acted out in such a literal manner, and with such potential for disaster. As entertaining as the swim relays were, I think they would have been more entertaining if they had batons, too. Phelps needs a new challenge anyway.
7. Irving Saladino (Long Jump Gold Medalist)
Irving won Panama’s first ever gold medal at these Olympics. That wasn’t what first impressed me about him.
8. Minimum Scoring Controversies
Run faster than the other person, you win. Throw the heavy object farther than the other person, you win. Jump higher than the other person, you win. Step on the line, you’re out. Beat that, gymnastics.
9. The Commentators
I’ve spent so much time watching track and field that Carol Lewis and Dwight Stone feel like members of the family. And NBC’s track and field broadcasting team as a whole has been far and away the most enjoyable and informative team of the Beijing Games, at least on the main network. I’m especially enjoying the contribution of newcomer Ato Boldin, although the fact that I remember seeing him run in an Olympics makes me feel old.
10. Yaroslav Rybakov, High Jump Bronze Medalist
Russian. High Jumper. Model. Wow.
Can’t agree with those reasons.
Finally been watching a bit of the Olympics. Saw the Brazil/Italy semi-final in volleyball. The Brazilians are hot and there’s a real hottie on the Italian team too. And you would not believe how difficult it is to find names and photos of these guys!
Meant to say I CAN agree with the reasons. Wish there was an edit function!
I know. I tried to use NBC’s site but it was moving so slow I ended up on the IAAF (international track and field governing body) instead.
I think Sanya better worry about winning a major race and less about her style.
I think the 400 meter hurdle USA sweep was pretty hot too. This list is awesome.
Once I am in charge of the IOC, my first motion will be to get rid of all racing (athletic and aquatic) besides race walking, steeplechase and hurdles. Race walking is almost 2 hours of pure hilarity. Steeplechase is a good premise that just needs to be spiced up a little (alligators, land mines, open flames, et al) and hurdles runs the risk of human pile ups which I love so much.
I may keep one sprint in the games, but it will be drastically shortened. Like 5 or 10 meters, maybe…and the field will be a minimum 35 runners. That would be great.
There will also only be one swimming race. It will be 50 meters. There will be no more lanes and the pool will be filled to capacity with swimmers. The lights will be out and one lone mako shark will patrol the pool. First person to the other side with all of their limbs in tact is the winner.
Any event that involves people doing flips (gymnastics, trampoline, diving etc) stays, and all the events that involve jumping or throwing something can stay too, although instead of judges marking distances of thrown objects, I think convicted pedophiles and other assorted felons should be chained out in the field and the object should be to hit them.
In summation, I like the field part of track and field a lot.
now that is stupid track is an amazing sport and it is way better than lets say gymnastics
I do love track but if any of you don’t know this gymnastics is the only sport where you are shooting for ultimate perfection( and we also have to stay in our lines) (;
Oh by the way, I saw that Usain Bolt race. I think he spent the last 10 meters reading a book.
That dude…he is fast.
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Anthony, I like the way you think! I’d watch those Olympics 24/7!
My comments here get more response than the posts on my blog.
I think I should be proud of that.
Lol Anthony, there’s an article circulating about all the stuff bolt could have done during the race.
sit me infront of a tv with any olympics sport, if I’m there for more than 5 minutes there’s no turning back. I get into it, the rules of the game, the favorites etc. It doesn’t matter what it is be it rowing or weightlifting.
But Track and Field is my absolute favorite. Usain Bolt really made these olympics games special for me; congrats to all the other athletes
This is a FANTASTIC post. I love #8, so true. Thank you for pointing out how cute Dayron Robles is too. And for linking to the awesome article about Bolt. I think I’ll make your blog a daily read of mine.
I absolute loved this paragraph: “There’s something really funny about world-class athletes competing to carry a little aluminum stick around in a circle. It reminds me of elementary school gym. Also, rarely do you get to see a proverbial phrase acted out in such a literal manner, and with such potential for disaster. As entertaining as the swim relays were, I think they would have been more entertaining if they had batons, too. Phelps needs a new challenge anyway.”. I am so putting it up on my blog!
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I miss the Olympics too! So many stellar performances. It’s a shame many of these sports do not see the light of day when it’s not the Olympics. Time we all supported the Michael Phelps of the athletic world the rest of the year.
i have to say i love track more than any sport and have to say it is the thrill of the run