So, while Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are clearly the top stories of these Olympics, attention should be paid to the photogenic and charismatic Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (pictured). Now, as little regard as the Notorious ŒV had for beach volleyball when it was introduced as an Olympic sport (just above snowboarding as a publicity stunt), it is, in the end, a sport by Ghettoputer’s definition, and it’s taken seriously enough to have a pro tour and an Olympic berth.
So, as dominating and incredible as Bolt & Phelps have been, May-Treanor & Walsh’s domination of a much less hallowed stage should be noted. While the NBC coverage has repeatedly mentioned their unbeaten streak of 108 matches, equally notable is the fact that in these Olympics, they didn’t drop a set. Even the Chinese team of Wang Chieh and T’ien Chia who gave them a very hard-fought medal match was unable to take a set off them. That’s some Jordan-level execution and intensity.* So, nice job, ladies.
Oh, and for those hip cynics who mocked Walsh’s thanking President Bush for his support, can you back off the ‘tude just a bit? Why wouldn’t an American in her situation—of any or no party—thank her President—of any party—who’d offered her encouragement? Have we so lost track of manners and basic patriotism that thanking one’s President for saying, “Go team,” is somehow worthy of snide derision? For shame. If anyone even knows what shame is any more.
*Or to pick an athlete from the past: Johnny Weissmuller, the athlete whom Phelps should actually be compared to (perhaps unfavorably) as greatest swimmer ever, not Spitz—great though he was. Weissmuller won five golds at two Olympics, picked up a bronze in water polo, and retired without ever having lost a race. Plus, dude, Tarzan.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.