From the pool to the track, a number of Arizona Wildcats and UA-affiliated athletes are chasing bids to appear in the 2012 Olympics.
Recent graduate Annie Chandler is making noise in the breaststroke, according to the New York Times, and her fiance, Matt Grevers, who trains with Tucson Ford Aquatics, is racing as well as he did when he won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympic games (by the way, this New York Times piece on their engagement is a must-read).
In fact, there's so many connections to Tucson that Greg Hansen called yesterday's events in Omaha, Neb., "Tucson Night."
On the field, high jumper Brigetta Barrett is a favorite to nab one of the qualifying spots in the women's high jump. Men's high jumper Nick Ross took third in the finals, but his jump was off the Olympic qualifying mark.
But outside of keeping tabs on past and present Wildcats, the Olympics bring a number of emotions. There's patriotism. There's the simple pleasure of watching for the enjoyment of competition. The 2012 Olympics will surely write new memories, but what are the best of those memories from past Olympic games?
There's the obvious when we talk of American pride. Maybe it's the Miracle On Ice. Perhaps that documentary brought back fond pictures of The Dream Team stomping anyone they encountered in Spain. Muhammad Ali's lighting of the torch in 1996 was emotional even for someone too young to have a complete grasp of the boxer's historical impact.
So what's my favorite moment?
It's less than a moment; 9.69 seconds to be exact. Usain Bolt's 100-meter run in the 2008 games gives me goosebumps simply because of how dominating it was. Then a world-record, it was a number of things that made it a memorable moment.
For one, the 100-meter dash is arguably the premiere event sport. It measures something totally objective, and there are no weight classes. Who is the fastest man in the world?
Back then, it was Usain Bolt. It's hard to believe anyone to that point had ran faster in the entire history of human existence. That's pretty baller.
When Bolt had a so-so jump off the starting blocks then had enough juice to pull even, pull way past, and pull up 15 meters early to pound his chest all while setting a world record, I think it qualifies as best Olympic moment in my lifetime.
Maybe you think he's an egotistical cocky SOB, but Usain Bolt became the fastest man in the world and had time in the race to let his competitors know about it.
When Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson is celebrating with glee for taking second place, you know that the winner was untouchable.
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