Top Tuesdays is a weekly AccessWinnipeg.com exclusive column that will feature Winnipeg’s top 5 or 10 places, things, people, and everything else. If you have any suggestions for a Top Tuesday feature, please send it to us in the submit news page.
TOP MOMENTS OF THE BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES
The Olympic Games are when nations come together. Whether from Winnipeg or Calgary – North Korea or South Korea – United States or Afghanistan, they come together in Sport. Some to shine as Heroes, and some to fall in greed.
“Maybe it’s not where an athlete’s from that makes us root for them… Maybe it’s not the flag on their back, or the anthem that we hear when they win that makes us cheer… Maybe it’s simply that they are human…. And we are human…. And when they succeed… WE succeed.” – Visa Go World Commercial
Hit the jump for my favorite moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games…
Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Beijing finally gets its chance to prove to the world that they are to par with all the super-powers of the world. They dazzled the world with their discipline and execution of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The lit up the sky with a describable display of fireworks that will never be forgotten. London, this is going to be a tough act to follow!
Image Courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press
Canadian Wins its First of 3 Golds
After 8 days without a single medal, Canadians all over the country feared that our Athletes would go home empty handed in the Beijing Olympic Games. Carol Huynh of Hazelton, B.C. would put all doubts aside when she won Canada’s first 2008 Gold medal in Women’s 48-kg Freestyle Wrestling. Canada would go on to win 2 more Gold medals to prove that we have not lost our touch!
Image Courtesy of Stu Forster/Getty Images
Usain Bolt Shocks the World!
Everyone knew Michael Phelps was fast, but no one expected Usain Bolt to win the 100-meter dash OR shatter the World Record running it in 9.69 seconds!! Favorite and reigning world champion, Tyson Gay of USA, failed to even qualify for the finals. Bolt would put Donovan Bailey of Canada’s long-standing Olympic record to rest. Bailey of Oakville, Ont., ran to gold in 9.84 at the 1996 Atlanta Games. To make things more amazing, Bolt is not even a 100-meter runner, his expertise was the 200-meter and only entered the 100-meter competition a little over a year ago!
Lighting Strikes Twice
With the adrenaline still pumping with his 100-meter run, Bolt would run his main event, the 200-meter dash. He would again, take Gold and SHATTER the World Record! Bolt would show much difference in his running style than in the 100-meter. In the 100-meter Bolt had thrown his arms up meters before the finsih celebrating his win and possibly losing some speed, but in the 200-meter, Bolt would run with his all till the very and exploding when he looked up to see that he had broke the 200-meter World Record!
Image Courtesy of Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Michael Phelps, Greatest Olympian of All Time
This probably doesn’t need a write up since its a given. Every girl wants him, and every guy wants to be him (No homo). No other Olympian has ever performed greater than Michael Phelps did in this games. Phelps would go on to be 8 for 8. 8 Gold Medals in 8 events. 8 Olympic Records, and 7 World Records. Some of my favorite highlights…
Phelps Winning the 100-meter Fly by One-Hundreth of a Second
With only a couple feet to go, and trailing for the whole race, Michael Phelps takes and extra half-stroke to beat out
Phelps and Team USA Wins the 4×100 Relay
Again, with Team USA trailing most of the way, anchor Jason Lezak would surprise the world by turning on the jets during the last few feet to take Gold in World Record Style.
Image Courtesy of Nick Laham/Getty Images
The Golden-Girls Do It Again!
Misty May-Treanor & Keri Walsh of USA became the first Women’s Beach Volleyball Athletes to win back-to-back gold medals. They also do it in style winning 108 games in a row! The Americans would be ranked 2nd in the Olympic rankings going in to the finals since they tied host country China. The Americans would go on to beat China and also be the FIRST 2nd ranked team to win the Gold.
Image Courtesy of Armando Franca/AP Photo
South Africa’s Natalie Du Toit Inspires the World!
Du Toit became the first amputee to compete at the Olympics when she qualified with a fourth-place at the world open water championships in May. Du Toit lost her left leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Her achievement is made even more extraordinary by the fact that she failed to qualify for the Sydney Games in 2000 prior to her accident. Her story shows just how far someone can get with sheer determination.
Image Courtesy of Matt Dunham/AP Photo
Afghanistan Gets It’s First Ever Olympic Medal
Afghantistan celebrates its first every Olympic Medal when Rohullah Nikpai won the Bronze in the Taekwondo Men’s 58kg Category. In a Country filled with war, its amazing how such glory can arise in the Olympic Games. President Hamid Karzai immediately called to congratulate Nikpai. He also awarded him a house at the government’s expense.
Image Courtesy of Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
Japanese Softball Team Upset USA
The Japenese Softball team send Team USA packing beating them 3-1. This ends the dominant hold that USA has had on Women’s softball all these years. Unfortunatly, the Olympic comittee has voted Softball off the roster for the London 2012 Olympic games. USA will not get its chance at redemtion, but hope to have the sport reinstated for the 2016 games. Softball players through the closing cermonies wore a shirts reading “Softball 2016”
Image Courtesy of Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
German Weightlifter Love Story
Straight out of a movie, German Weightlifter Matthias Steiner kisses a picture of his late wife Susann on the gold medal podium. The 25-year-old, who was born in Austria, had recently lost his 23-year-old wife, Susann, who was killed in a car accident in July 2007. Steiner had made her two promises at her bedside: First, that he would become a German citizen, and second, that he would win a weightlifting gold in Beijing. He met the first promise in January this year, and followed through with the second vow by winning his gold medal at the Games. As soon as he’d won, he kissed a photo of his late wife.
Image Courtesy of Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Chinese Hero Liu Xiang Pulls Out of the 100-Meter Hurdles
Chinese hero and favorite Liu Xiang walks out of the Bird Nest Due to Injury. He would not defend his 110-Meter hurdle title. Though he is know well known here, he was an icon and hero in China. On billboards all over the Country, he was the face of the Chinese games. It can be compared as if Michael Phelps pulled out of a race. It was a very sad day for the Chinese people – no one ever wants to see a hero fall.
Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Hungarian Dislocates His Arm Weightlifting
Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai’s first Olympics ended in tears and pain when he dislocated his right elbow during the Olympic weightlifting competition. Baranyai was attempting to lift 148kg in his third lift in the men’s 77-kg division. The 24-year-old Hungarian immediately fell to the floor screaming in tears and shaking from the pain.
Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Cuban Kicks Referee in the Face
During the bronze medal Tae Kwon Do match, Ángel Matos received a life time ban for kicking a Swedish referee in the face. Matos was winning, 3-2, in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov. He remained on the floor awaiting medical attention. Fighters are given 1 minute of injury time and he was disqualified when his time ran out. The outraged Matos immediately got up (obviously wasn’t that injured at all!!) and gave the referee a kick to the face. When judges jumped in to break up the conflict he threw a punch at one of them. As Matos was being escorted out he spat on the floor.
Image Courtesy of Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images
Wrestler Walks Off the Podium After Getting His Bronze Medal
A bitter Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian walked off the podium after receiving his Bronze medal, dropped it on the floor, and left the stadium. He was then punished by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for violating the spirit of fair play during the medal ceremony. Abrahamian was stripped of his Bronze medal and there will be no record of him ever winning it. Abrahamian became incensed when a disputed penalty call decided his semifinal match against Italian Andrea Minguzzi, who went on to win the gold medal in the Greco-Roman 84-kilogram division.