Well, the Opening Ceremonies were held Friday night, I thought it would be a good time to post my thoughts on everything that has happened so far. Sorry it took so long, but I have spent the last two days on the road and out of wireless range.
The Opening Ceremonies were great. Great way for China to open up these highly anticipated games. Most people have said that it was the greatest opening ceremonies of all time. But then again, when was the last time that wasn't said about the Olympics? I remember them saying that about all the other Olympic games in my lifetime.
Swimming: Phelps has gotten by his two toughest tests in the games. While he should have won the 400 IM, I never expected him to run away with it the way he did. In fact, I thought fellow American Ryan Lochte would have been much closer. I saw his bronze as a disappointment. But, at least he got on the stand. He'll have his shot for gold again later in these games. The 4x100, as someone who has watched a lot of swimming year after year(unlike 99% of the people on here), was the most exciting race that I have ever seen. Jason Lezak won that race for the team. Not only did he do his 100 in the fastest split in relay history, but he did it by catching and passing the world record holder in the event. You have to give credit to the others, too. Not just Phelps, but teammates Garrett Webber-Gale and Cullen Jones. Jones was only the second African-American to win gold in a swimming event in Olympic history. Then there was Katie Hoff. I really thought she would win the 400 IM. She seemed like she choked a bit to me, barely beating out teammate Elizabeth Beisel just to get on the stand. Stephanie Rice is a great swimmer, but I really thought that was Katie's event to win. At least she redeemed herself in the 400 free. She was ahead the entire time, and only won silver, but no one expected her to do that well in the race. Finally, we come to Brendan Hansen. He has become such a sad story. After falling to his rival Kitajima in the 100 and 200 breast in Athens, his performance over the last three years made one think that he would take both this time around. His fourth place finish at trials in the 200 was, in my opinion, the biggest upset in the history of any Olympic sport. He had to make up for that by winning the 100. He was bad in the heats, better in the semis, and just a little better in the final. Still, it was obvious that he wasn't anywhere near his best, and he missed out on the medal stand, coming in fourth. This likely ended his great career without a single individual gold medal.
Gymnastics: Now I realize most people here don't care about this sport, so I won't say much. The men's team, after the loss of the Hamm twins, doesn't seem to have much of a chance to win a team medal. I don't see them winning anything in the individual events either. Now the women's team is a different story. Despite a terrible(for them) appearance in the team qualifiers yesterday, they still should be guaranteed either a silver or gold medal in the team competition. Outside of the top two, I fully expect Alicia Sacrimone to medal in the vault. Finally, Shawn Johnson deserves to be the favorite for all-around gold. Not only that, but I think that she will go down as the greatest American gymnast of all time.
Cycling: A quick shoutout to Sammy Sanchez of Spain. He won an excellent road race, beating out all of the other favorites at the very end. American Levi Leipheimer had a very good showing in tenth, although I had hoped to see him win a medal. Andy Schleck powered the leaders at the end of the race, just like he did or his brother and Carlos Sastre in the Tour de France. With his performance here and in the tour, I expect him to win at least three tours in his career. After all, he is only twenty-three.
Basketball: I personally don't think that this sport should be in the Olympics, but, we did have some very good matchups. Won't highlight these much, but I must mention the United States drubbing of China, and give credit to Lithuania for their upset of defending Olympic champion Argentina. If the USA stumbles when it matter, the Lithuanians could have a very legitimate shot at gold.
Well, I'm running out of time tonight, so I'll be back tomorrow with all of tonight's action, and hopefully highlights of volleyball, tennis, and some of the smaller sports to date.