This Is our Village

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I haven’t been stuck to the tube watching the Olympics this year, but every now and then I tune in. On Friday I watched what will surely remain a sports highlight for me for some time, the final in the women’s 10,000 meter run. Claimed by some to be the greatest long-distance woman runner of all time, Tirunesh Dibaba, of Ethiopa, was said to be the one to watch in this race. She was.

10,000 meters is a little over six miles, so the race took about 25 laps around the field. The commentators kept saying to watch for Dibaba’s finishing kick, which was reputed to be astonishing. They said the entrants from other countries, especially the Kenyans, would be trying to draw out Dibaba’s energy during the middle stage of the race.

For about half the race Dibaba was in the middle of the pack of runners. Then she moved up among the first four. With a lap and a quarter to go, she was in second place when suddenly she put it into overdrive and BLEW by the lead runner, a Kenyan, establishing a HUGE lead over those in the first positions, who themselves were already “lapping” the slowest runners. (“Lapping” means passing them a second time on the track because they were a whole lap behind.) I have never seen anything like this tremendous, sustained burst of speed except (sorry to make the comparison this way, but I can think of no other) in that Triple Crown horse race many years ago when the great Secretariat won by multiple lengths over the other racehorses.

This morning I think they will be showing the men’s tennis finals. As in the recent Grand Slam Wimbledon finals, Roger Federer will be playing Andy Murray. Federer won Wimbledon, perhaps establishing himself as the greatest tennis player of all time, though some will argue with this. It dashed England's hopes to have a British (actually Scottish) Wimbledon winner for the first time since 1934. The Olympics final, though not a Grand Slam "major" tennis match, will be played AT the Wimbledon tennis arena. It will be very satisfying to the British if Murray wins. I wish him well. 

I’m sure everyone has their favorite Olympics stories. I wonder what some of yours are. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved Serena's final 2 tennis matches, not because she won gold but because she hammered the grunters and screamers. The louder they were the easier she demolished them, merciless.
    Yeah, Dibaba is electrifyin', she will run the 5000, at first she was only entered in the 10,000. Ethiopia changed its mind! The elimination round of the women’s 5000 takes place 10:55am on Tuesday morning, with the final set for 8:05pm Friday, August 10.


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