Michael Phelps has nearly 50% of the USA’s Gold medals. He has 7 so far and our entire country has 15. To take it a step further, only three COUNTRIES have more Gold medals than Phelps. The USA, China and Germany.
Only 11 countries have more TOTAL medals than Phelps’ has GOLD medals.
Isn’t that insane?
Where is Alain Bernard and his over-the-top bragging now?
Filed under Sports, swimming
While “pundits” like Bill O’Reilly brought Americans things like “Freedom Fries” along with calling for a boycott of France for their lack of support in the run up to and beginning of the Iraq War, I stood by France. Well, stood by might be too strong to describe my position, I did not participate in their inane changing of the American fast food side dish staple. I didn’t agree with the Iraq War, but I didn’t agree with some countries having oil contracts with Iraq during our embargo, either. Nevertheless, I will join the anti-France American crowd this week in a collective roaring laugh at them and more specifically their arrogant (a Frenchmen arrogant?) swimmer Alain Bernard.
Bernard is the anchor of the French 4 x 100 meter relay team. In case you missed it, Bernard ponied up this quote before the Olympics, “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for,”.
What makes this story so remarkable is what actually happened. Bernard, a world record holding swimmer, is the anchor of the French team. Our Ace, Michael Phelps leads off the team. So America started out winning, but by the time the fourth and final leg came around Bernard was easily ahead. So far ahead NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines actually called the race for the French with about 60 meters left. Then something strange happened, Jason Lezak, who swims in the shadow of Phelps, overcame the lead and beat the braggart by the slimmest of margins.
So today we all bask in the glow of another American victory, but for those of us afflicted with what the Germans call “schadenfreude” we get a bonus out of this deal.
I believe it was Muhammad Ali that once said, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
And I tend to agree.
So what does that all boil down to?
If you brag and cannot back it up then you’re just talking merde… that is to say shit. Bernard, even as a world record holder, was talking shit and incredibly when he had the chance to back it up folded like a $2 tent from WalMart- though, admittedly, that might be a bit harsh- to WalMart’s tents!
Filed under Politics, Sports
Last summer I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I know, you think it is crazy. Last year I felt unchallenged. I was in the middle of a press conference in Philadelphia hyping the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. When Oscar De La Hoya was asked why as an older and slower boxer who was past his prime he would take on the number one pound for pound boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr, De La Hoya spoke of the challenge. He wanted to push himself. Challenge himself against the best competition. To feel the passion course through his veins as he prepared and ultimately fought the younger, faster Mayweather. When I left the press conference I felt empty. I remembered the feeling I had when I won the 1983 Delmar Minor Little League Championship with Delmarva Aluminum. And the joy that came with capturing a league title in a recreational league in seventh grade. Champion. There is just something about being a champion.
Now before I get embroiled into too much hyperbole, I realize these trophies mean nothing in the wide world of sport. They are local titles against local-level competition. But what you must recognize is that for an athlete with my skill set that’s about all we can even hope for.
How does this tie into the Running of the Bulls?
I’m glad you asked. Leaving the press conference that day I knew I was out of shape, unathletic and leading a sedentary life. I’m not sure whether I saw a programme on the tele or read an ad, but somehow in that space of time I came across the idea of running with the bulls. The thought of being trampled under the hooves of bovine had me running like I had not run since my senior of of high school. I burned off about 25 pounds in a 4 month period in preparation for the run.
I’ll go into the particulars of the run and my whole trip, which included stops in England, France, Spain, back to France and England, then to Ireland, back to London and home.