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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hopefully not a metaphor

Women's wrestling is now in the Olympics. No, there's no mud or bikinis; it's just like men's wrestling. I'm not a big wrestling fan, so I usually change Olympic channels when it comes on (same with boxing). But I happened to catch a bit of a women's match between an American and a Venezuelan. The American got her opponent down quickly. The Venezuelan struggled every which way, but was unable to break free. She eventually lost on the "mercy rule" when the American had a ten-point lead.

I'll confess I was really pulling for the Venezuelan to at least break free from the American's grasp.

I'm enjoying the Olympics; they always inspire me to try and get back into shape. I was peddling my bicycle-generator (keep going, little buddy!) while watching the women's marathon this morning. Both NBC and CBC were carrying it live, so I was able to see most of the race by switching channels at the commercials. (I usually rely on TiVo for screwing the corporate pigs.) A very tough, grueling race, nearly 100 degrees F at the start, with lots of hills. World-record holder Paula Radcliff of Great Britain struggled to stay with the lead group, eventually falling back and dropping out at around the 20-mile mark. Her world-record time of two hours, fifteen minutes is faster than any man in Great Britain has done in the past year, and faster than all winners of the Boston Marathon before 1969. But she couldn't deal with the heat and the hills. Ninety-pound Japanese runner Mizuki Noguchi took the gold by 12 seconds over Kenyan Catherine Ndereba and one minute over American Deena Kastor, who had climbed her way back from 18th position in the last six to eight miles. A very exciting race to watch.

NBC's Jim Lampley said between events that pResident aWol might be planning to fly to Athens for the medal ceremony of men's soccer, trying to claim credit for the Iraqi team's incredible performance so far. To his credit, Lampley pointed out several problems with this. First, officials in Athens have more than enough security problems already. Second, polls show that both Greeks who like Bush are vacationing out of the country, so he could probably expect a cool reception. And third, the Iraqi soccer team is on record as hating his cowardly guts. Given all that, I hope he goes!