Saturday, 16 August 2008

Was It Worth It?

My answer to this question has to be a resounding yes.

The action alternated between the Bird's Nest Stadium and the Water Cube. I watched history being made by Michael Phelps, when he won his seventh gold medal of these games, equalling the seven golds at one games by Mark Spitz, and the joy of it is, I am old enough to have watched Spitz create the record that we thought would never be matched. The race was so close that it was literally won by Phelps continuing to race until he touched the wall. A race that he came so close to losing, but because he followed the instruction that all competitive swimmers are taught from the start of their training, allowed him to beat the Serbian swimmer who was leading but who chose to coast to the wall rather than swim an extra stroke.

Shortly afterwards, Becky Adlington swam in the Women's 800m freestyle and showed the rest of the competitors what a truly superb competitor that she is. She took the lead shortly after the first turn, and gradually pulled away from the rest of the field. Swimming at her own pace she continued to churn through the water, and it was not long before it was obvious that the oldest Women's Swimming World Record was going to be beaten. The record was set when Becky was six months old, and the 19-year old beat it by more than two seconds, and it is obvious that she could have swum faster if she had been pushed. Becky went to these games for experience, she was not expected to win medals this time, that would come in London. Instead she became the first British swimmer to win two gold medals at one Olympic Games since the London Games of 1908.

I watched a little bit of the action from the Bird's Nest Stadium, but then I dozed off, and have just woken up, ready for the action that is to come. The medal race for the Finn Class has been delayed because the wind is insufficient again, so Ben Ainslie has to wait a little longer to see whether he is going to win a gold or a silver medal. But the rowing will be starting soon, and that does not rely on wind-power; it is the oarsmen and women who will provide the power necessary.

Could this truly be Team GB's Golden Saturday? I really hope so.

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