August 6, 2008

The Boyz in the Hood...

So I am trying to play catch up since I decided to play Fry-what-little-brain-I-have-left-in-this-104+ degree-weather yesterday. The Crumbs are well rested, and fried too. They have been diligently plugging along with my impromptu Geography on the Go games. I think they can finally successfully point out the major countries of the world as long as I give the continent too.

* I interrupt this post for a homeschool tip. I know a ton of you are homeschoolers too. And there is a strong possibility many of you will be teaching something about the Earth or the World this year. Well, right now in that $1 section in the front of Target know the one we canNOT pass by without looking "just in case there's somethin' I could not possibly live another day without" section? Yeah, that one. Well it has these miniature globes that are to Die For. (That, my friends, is not a sentence I thought I'd type in a bajillion years!) I use them at home, in the car, at the doctor's office. And we've only had them for 7 days today! Hurry. AND I need an inexpensive full world map for a game I made up for Opening Ceremonies if anyone knows of a place! Thanks.*

Back to today's post. It will be all about The Boys.

The first one is featuring the oldest Olympian on the Team this year. His name is John Dane III. And he is 58 years old. He first tried out for the Olympic Team in 1967. And has spent the last 40+ years dreaming, trying, training, and visualizing himself in the Olympics. And in 2008 he is a member of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team.
His event is the 2-man Star Class.
His partner is his son-in-law.
His mama is 84. She'll be attending the Games to watch her son achieve his goal.
I already need a Kleenex.

I have to admit I am not a huge sailing fan. I have MAJOR water issues. And I get sea-sick like no one's business...just standing on a floating dock. It's stupid. Yes, stupid's not a nice word. But, it is. Stupid.

Any way, I have learned a whole heckuva lot about sailing in doing the research on this dude. Apparently, there are a few keys to the whole schmeel.

First - knowledge of the water venue. Check.

Second - experience, experience, and experience. Check.

Third - the flexibility to change strategies with the whims of the weather. Check.

Fourth - weight. As in how much do you weigh? This is where it gets tricky. You have to weigh enough to be able to keep complete control of your boat, but you have to be light enough to be carried quickly by a very light breeze. Races have been won by the weight factor time and time again. It's crucial. And it sounds like we have many, many serious contenders from the Good ole U.S.A. ! Yay! Go red, white and blue!


Meet Anthony Famiglietti.

Long ago he began his running career after his parents confiscated his skateboard b/c ER visits were causing a major problem and his truant officer encouraged him to run.

While other runners at this level were meticulous about their mileage logs, training grounds, focus and health.

He has run personal bests and set records on a diet of pizza, soda and junk food for years. Relying on talent and determination. During one race in Asia he realized he may need to eat meat to gain some needed strength. He couldn't get himself to do he spooned it in with cake.

And his training took place on NYC streets dodging taxis, Central Park with the tourists and local-yocal public tracks.

During the Athens Games four years ago he ran into a wooden barrier and was disqualified before the races began.

The disappointment unbearable. He was broken.

He found himself in a new place. Ready to listen to advice, eat nutritious foods and train with a plan and purpose.

Once again he find himself in a new place. He finds huge reward in being able to give others pleasure with his results. His heart and mind are prepared to give the world his best.

To show by example.


Y'all remember Rulon Gardner right?

Born in Wyoming. Gained his brute strength working on the family dairy farm. Survived being impaled by an arrow in grade school. Lost only a toe from frostbite after being rescued from a snowstorm. Survived a plan crash, had to swim in freezing water, stayed alive with no fire in 28 degree weather and was found by chance when a fisherman veered from his normal route.

Won the 2000 gold medal from a Russian dude who hadn't lost a match in 13 years. And hadn't given up a point in 6 years. Not one point.

The one who came back to the 2004 Olympics, won a bronze, untied his wrestling shoes (a sign of retiring), left them on the mat, and walked away...tears streaming down his cheeks.

Yeah, that guy.

He's gone.

And the guy who has been his Rock, his Teammate, his Training Partner, his Legacy... is this guy.

Meet Dremiel Byers.

He watched Rulon win the gold in Sydney and was touched by what Rulon said into the camera, "That guy (Gardner) got in front of the cameras after he got his medal, and he made no doubt about it. He said he's not the only guy from the United States that can win this thing. And I was listening."

Byers went to Athens, but only as the training partner. There can only be one spot for each weight class.

"I told him as we walked off the mat, 'If there's anything you need from me, I'll be there for you.' That's the way we were," Byers said."Selfless service is part of it. It's us against them. I went to Athens with him, and I watched and I learned. Now, it's my turn."

Indeed it is Dremiel. We are watching. Show us whatcha got Baby!


Meet the shuttlecock.
The professional level are made of goose feathers (hopefully sans Bird Flu) placed around a leather-covered cork - a delicate sounding combination that surprisingly reaches 200 miles per hour when smashed with a racquet.

And I thought it was a Yawn Sport.

Badminton was invented in China in 500 B.C. So needless to say, the badminton tickets were Sold Out in a matter of minutes.
In a country with 1,000,000,000+ people is it a shock to know that for every professional badminton athlete there are 1,000 players at that caliber that can replace them tomorrow? Badminton is not only looked upon as a chance to excel and show the world their country's pride, but it is also considered a chance to have personal security and well-being in most Asian countries.

Think soccer in Ireland.

Swimming in Australia.

Curling in Canada.

Squash in England.

Nascar in America.

And you'll get the picture for badminton in China.

It was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1992. China has dominated. American has never won a medal. I didn't even find where we'd ever placed.

But this time around we have this dude.
and this dude.

The top photo is of Howard Bach. The second, me when I say they just call him Bob. His name is a mile long with syllables and phonetic combinations I am not familiar with.

We wish you luck Badminton Dudes!


Okay fellow Olympic fans (and lurkers), we are caught up for the time being.

We have less than 3 days 'til Opening Ceremonies.

I will be blogging live during many of the events...just in case you needed more of this Olympic Craziness.

And since you read to the end of this uber long post, leave a comment and the Crumbs will draw a name to win a beautiful new Old Glory!

Love Notes to my Big Shooter: We all know I'm the real Olympic Fah-reek in the fam. So thanks for being My Huckleberry.


Sara said...

Ok, so now you have me interested way more than I ever wanted to be. Thanks...I think :-)

faroutmom said...

Of course I read to the end....I am so, so, so excited too! You really don't have to bribe me, but it's nice that you do. YOU ROCK! (in case I have never told you)

Anonymous said...

How could I not read to the end? We are excited and waiting too. Soul Sis and boys.

mamacita said...

Wow you're really into the Olympics! We may have to watch this year!

ShEiLa said...

So many stories of inspiration. But I must admit that the first one... Mr. 58 yr old dude... hats off to you for NEVER letting go of your dream. Do you ever wish that you had their passion in your life. I have never had the desire to do anything this amazing... and I wonder about each of their formative years... like before age 5... what kind of determined little ones were they back then? and did they drive their folks crazy? The Anthony story reminds me of my son Ted. He ran track & cross country in High School... his eating habits were awful and yet he made some amazing runs.

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