by Paul Myers
Article published on the 2008-08-10 Latest update 2008-08-10 15:13 TU
I would have probably done this even it had been the usual clammy humidity outside.
Off I squelched to the National Aquatics Centre which is also known as the Water Cube. This is one of the big buildings of these games. Designed by the Chinese State Construction International Company, Australia PTW Architects and ARUP Australia, it houses some 17,000 spectators.
And there was indeed a cacophony as the American Michael Phelps broke his own world record to take the 4x100m individual medley. It was the first of what he hopes will be a trawl of eight golds.
There was more screaming as 18-year-old Park Tae-Hwan won South Korea’s first Olympic swimming gold in the 400m freestyle.
And you can imagine the frenzy as the Chinese duo Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia retained their Olympic title in the synchronised three metre springboard diving.
A few days into the competitions and the hosts are racking up the gold medals. And who’d begrudge them that after laying on such a tremendous show.
What are also mounting are the clichés. Before we get anywhere near the track and field, there have been indignities uttered to the point where the Beijing Olympics blog is forced to set up a measure.
So as the thermometer of competition rises, a “squirmometer” will monitor any post event triteness.
It’s not that the comments are untrue or offensive, they just make you wriggle in your seat and raise your eyebrow just a tiny bit.
Perhaps it’s because the statements emerge in the hinterland of victory.
The Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice who took the gold medal in the 4x100 individual medley in a world record time seemed quite deft as she deflected questions about her relationship with the Australian swimmer Eamon Sullivan. She was focusing on her events and representing her country, she said.
But then when quizzed about her gold medal performance she talked about being “in the moment” in the pool.
OK. But Ugh.
The American swimmer Dara Torres anchored her team to silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay. At 41, many of swimmers in her race weren’t even born when she was competing in her first Olympics back in Los Angeles in 1984.
But her aquatic longevity – this is her fifth Olympics hasn’t salvaged her from the ravages of the cliché. “Age is only a number,” she intoned.
True, she’s won 10 Olympic medals. But ugh.
“When we are in the water, it doesn’t matter because the water doesn’t really know how old you are when you hit the water.”
2008-08-09 09:56 TU
2008-08-08 09:58 TU
2008-08-08 08:29 TU
2008-08-08 08:19 TU