Friday, August 15, 2008

2008 Olympics

I am starting to feel bad that I am not updating this as often as I used to. Seems that the appendics thing put in a dent in my life that I have yet to get back from. My email inbox is still on the border of "over its size limit" on a daily basis at work. I get through 100 and then a fire pops up and I get 200 more. Not winning the battle. :-(

The only somewhat valid excuse I can offer on my limited postings are the 12-13 hour days I've been putting in since returning from my break after surgery. Nothing says we missed you like a work load that has yet to be controlled. I at least like what I'm doing or it could be very bad but it was pretty nice spending 2 1/2 weeks at home following the Tour and not thinking about work much. Just wish it wasn't so much to come back to. But we're almost caught up - I hope.

Any who... on to good stuff!!! I love the Olympics and I'm not sure much compares. They only happen every 4 years (2 if you're looking at both winter and summer but each only happen every 4) so there is something really special about those wins, those records that get broken, those medals, and certainly all the athletes.

I am not sure there is an event that I don't get sucked into once the TV is finally turned on late at night but I certainly have ones I like to watch for sure. Cycling is an obvious one but then I love watching most of the swimming events, especially relays. Add in some diving, highlights of gymnastics, some beach volleyball, and finally some track and field, and chilling out at night is great.

Before the events got under way there was much media attention brought upon some of our cyclists choosing to wear masks as they got off the plane in Beijing. I think at this point the census is that the timing might not have been the best but I don't hear too many bad mouthing them anymore for the decision. I support them as I feel it should be their choice and thought that the USOC looked bad for not supporting them when the masks were issued in the gear supplied by them.

With a visit to Beijing last December, the cyclists had an idea as to what to expect upon their arrival. Lea ended up with an infection (if I recall) on the last trip and with what Mike has worked through to get to this point - how does one not respect their decision to protect themselves? One bad thing I've gotten from reading is that we may not truly not know just how bad things are. Many have said that the media is making the air sound worst than it is yet I've also been reading the athletes have been told NOT to discuss it in a negative way.

Here are some links to articles on it and the air quality in Beijing:

8/06_TheNewYorkTimes: U.S. Cyclists Are Masked, and Criticism Is Not
8/06_PodiumCafe_Chris: Meatball & Co. Apologize for Mask-gate
8/06_MikeFriedman: 5 Minute World Wide Fire Works
8/ Beijing Olympics: American cyclists apologise for 'smog masks'
8/06_BikingBis: How Olympic cyclists are dealing with Beijing's air pollution
8/08_EnvironmentNewsService: Beijing Olympics Open But Air Does Not Clear
8/09_TheHealth&WellnessPost: The Smog in Beijing And Its Affects On Our Athletes
8/11_Bicycling_LizReapCarlson: Divine Inspiration
8/12_TheNewYorkTimes: When It Comes to Masks, Cyclists Are Still Apologizing
8/13_DenverPost: Phinney can't mask his excitement

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