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My Favorite Olympic Moment

4x100Most people pick USA vs. USSR Hockey or basketball.  Now, my mom wasn’t even born when Jesse Owens rubbed that whole “master race” crap in Hitler’s face in Berlin, 1936,  and I wasn’t quite two years old at the time of the famous “black power” salute in Mexico City, 1968.  Those were big, historical moments.  The most exciting moment I’ve experienced was, admittedly, a whole lot smaller and lacked any real political subtext beyond the usual, benign disrespect between Americans and French–you know: we’re lazy and tacky and like ketchup and peanut butter, and they smell bad, breathe arrogance, and habitually surrender to Germany at a moment’s notice.

Allies who love to hate each other make perfect rivals, especially when Alain Bernard, the superstar French swimmer, derisively dismissed his USA counterparts before the 4×100 Freestyle in the 2008 Beijing games.  “The Americans?” Bernard sneered, “We’re going to smash them.  That’s what we came here for.”

While the cameras focused on USA Star Mike Phelps and Bernard, in the end it was veteran Jason Lezak, the oldest member of the team who was, for the most part, largely unknown outside the swimming world, who took down the haughty Bernard.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/swimming/news/story?id=3528865

By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

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