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BLD Magazine: Random Thoughts And Brutal Honesty = Olympic Edition
Random Thoughts and Brutal Honesty = OLYMPIC EDITION
Posted by: Mike - August 9th, 2012

Random Thoughts and Brutal Honesty = OLYMPIC EDITION

LOCHTE VS. PHELPS

The battle between Lochte and Phelps is not necessarily a battle to see who gets the most medals.   Ryan Lochte’s goal for the London Olympics was to place himself as the heir-apparent to Michael Phelps.  He wanted the U.S as well as the world to recognize his legacy in Olympic Swimming.  

It is clear that Ryan Lochte has failed to do that in these Olympics.   He got off to an incredible start as he burned Michael Phelps in the 400 meter individual medley to win Olympic Gold while Phelps finished fourth.   However, he has failed to win an individual gold medal since then.  As a matter of fact, he has looked rather ordinary.   He allowed France’s Yannick Angel to burn him on the anchor leg of the 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay.    He failed to medal in the 200 meter freestyle race. 

Lochte was upstaged by American upstart Tyler Clary in the 200 meter backstroke.  Clary won gold while Lochte had to settle for a bronze medal.   And then in a measure of revenge,  Phelps edged Lochte in the 200 meter individual medley for his record-setting 16th gold.  

Lochte’s average performance in these Olympics has served to make Phelps’ Beijing performance that much greater. 

Your winner and still champion:  Michael Phelps.


USAIN BOLT:  IS HE FOCUSED?

Bolt’s tune-up to the Olympics has been problematic to say the least.   It can be traced back to the Daegu World Championships in South Korea.  Bolt committed a false-start and was automatically disqualified due to the race’s zero tolerance policy on false starts.   In that same race,  Yohan Blake took advantage of Bolt’s epic fail to win the race.   Yohan Blake positioned himself to be Usain Bolt’s kryptonite.   In May 2012, Usain Bolt actually nodded off on the starting line-up before running an unusually average 10.04 race in Ostrava.   He has been beaten two times in Stockholm, Sweden since the 2008 Games.    Finally, he was beaten in both the 100m and 200m dash by the aforementioned Yohan Blake at the Olympic Games.    He withdrew from his final warm-up race in Monaco due to hamstring troubles.  These troubles were triggered by a lingering back condition.  

It is clear that Bolt’s aura of invincibility is a thing of the past.   He is a very vulnerable candidate that will find himself in a race with Blake, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and returning 2004 Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin.   If Bolt isn’t focused, it is more than likely he will not repeat as the fastest man in the universe.

THE FAVORITES IN THE OLYMPIC SOCCER TOURNAMENT

We are down to four teams in the Women’s Olympic Soccer Tournament:  France, United States, Japan and Canada.   Canada’s 2-0 win over Great Britain on Friday makes it abundantly clear that they are peaking at the right time.   However, the two favorites have to be the two World Cup finalists: United States and Japan.  Japan chopped Marta and the powerful Brazilian side down to size with a 2-0 victory.  Japan’s no-nonsense approach outdid the flashy style of Brazil.   I believe that the U.S will stop the momentum that Canada is carrying into the match.    U.S and Japan will have a rematch of last year’s World Cup Final.  In the words of Bart Scott, “Can’t wait.”

On the men’s side, the overall favorite has to be Brazil with Mexico and Great Britain as contenders.  Neymar and new Chelsea product Oscar will certainly lead the charge.   With Spain and Uruguay out of the tournament, Brazil can breathe a little easier.   Mexico and Great Britain are medal contenders as well.   Daniel Sturridge is also making a name for himself in these Olympics.   He has spurned Great Britain with goals against UAE and Uruguay.

THE TOP THREE MEDAL HAULERS = USA SWIMMERS.

As the greatest USA swimmer and Olympian of all time prepared to depart from the sport forever, it is clear that USA Swimming will not be affected by his departure.  The future of USA Swimming is as bright as the noonday sun.   Michael Phelps has a total of five medals (3 gold, 2 silver)   He will certainly capture a sixth medal in his final team event tomorrow.   Once again, Phelps will have more medals than anyone else in the Olympics.   Ryan Lochte will be right behind him with his 5 total medals.   In a second place tie comes the new face of USA Swimming: Missy Franklin.  Missy Franklin also has a team event on Saturday in which she is a shoo-in for her fifth medal.  Ryan Lochte was supposed to be the heir-apparent to Michael Phelps.   It is clear that the heir apparent is Missy the Missile.   I, for one cannot wait to see what she has in store at Rio 2016.

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