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Kenadian

The Stories Of 2008?

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Every Olympiad give us a few big stories - good and bad, sporting and political. Spitz and terrorists in Munich. Nadia and construction in Montreal. Jesse Owens and Nazism in Berlin. Cathy Freeman in Sydney. Michael Johnson in Atlanta. Boycotts in Moscow. Ben Johnson in Seoul. The Olympics are all over the map!

So what are the top three stories of Beijing?

The games aren't over, but here are my picks. Gold and silver locked in. Bronze could change. But I'm pretty confident in these picks.

Gold - 08.08.08=8! Michael Phelps. Can't deny that. He is the star of these Games.

Silver - The rise of the Red Dragon...China's outstanding medal haul.

Bronze - The success of the next. Britain's great golden haul sets up big things for 2012.

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Gold. Phelps, of course.

I'm not sure about your silver _ China was expected to rise. Then again, I suppose the Phelps mark also had an air of inevitability about it as well,

To me, the GB result has ben the pleasant surprise, particularly in setting up the games for 2012. The Brits before the games were talking down their targets (maybe a bit of foxing going on), so it's been a bit unexpected for their surge to be so emphatic.

I'm not sure what else. Liu Xiang's withdrawal, perhaps, might be a pick for bronze. Except, I suppose, that in the West for us the main story there has been about the Chinese reaction to it rather than the event itself. And in the long term will probably be more a footnote to the games than one of its major stories.

Maybe if Bolt can get the 200m in a WR time?

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I would probably make Bolt's haul the silver if he wins the 200m For someone that tall from a small country to do what he did, it could easily change the dynamics of short distance running. Gone could be short people always winning and tall people taking their place.

Bronze I might put the demise of the Russians as well as the rise of the Chinese. That could change the next few days but it appears the last remnants of the old Soviet Sports System is upon us and the birth of a new Chinese one upon us.

Michael Phelps - no question, like it or not, will always be the story of Bejing.

Edited by LA84

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Gold: The little girl who missed out on "Chinese Idol"!!

Silver: The travails of the Torch relay

Bronze: The shipment of cheap Greek wine which quickly turned sour the morning after 08/08/08.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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I don't know where to post this but I think the countdown sequence during the Beijing opening ceremony is sure to be listed under important segments of the opening ceremony that future hosts will outdo.

Since 1992, it has always been how they would light the cauldron... now maybe starting from 2008, it would be that and also how they would do the count down.

The countdown is definitely one of the highlights of Beijing's opening ceremony and it could be one of the stories of 2008 among ceremony enthusiasts :lol:

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When ISINBAYEVA cried during the medal ceremony.

The total failure of Greece, that must ring the bells we used in 2004 Opening to all those that control athletism in Greece. (NOC, federations, the state).

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Although personally Britain's medal tally is pretty spectacular, internationally is it really that important? - countries have won 16 golds before.

What is amazing about the British performance in Beijing is their dominance of some of the sports - sailing, rowing and particularly cycling. It's their complete dominance in the cycling events that is unmatched in Olympic history, not 16 gold medals that has been done many times before by other countries.

So...

Gold - The politics surrounding China being the host/the success of the Games as a whole

Silver - Bolt/Phelps

Bronze - Team GBR's domination of the cycling events

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Although personally Britain's medal tally is pretty spectacular, internationally is it really that important? - countries have won 16 golds before.

What is amazing about the British performance in Beijing is their dominance of some of the sports - sailing, rowing and particularly cycling. It's their complete dominance in the cycling events that is unmatched in Olympic history, not 16 gold medals that has been done many times before by other countries.

So...

Gold - The politics surrounding China being the host/the success of the Games as a whole

Silver - Bolt/Phelps

Bronze - Team GBR's domination of the cycling events

Its important in the context that Britain will host the next games, just like Canada's rise in Turino was a major story partially because Canada will host 2010.

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For me (so far):

Gold: Michael Phelps.It has to be.To win 8 Gold medals in one Games is awesome beyond belief,just as it was when Mark Spitz won his 7 at Munich back in '72.

Silver: Usain Bolt.It's not so much the fact that he won 2 Gold medals (other athletes have won more) but the way in which he did it! 'Lightning' Bolt indeed!

Bronze: The GB Cycling Team.I fully agree with Stu here.Although GB's great showing in the medal table is remarkable by British standards,it is the Cycling Team's performance that is of truly international significance!

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I still think Britain's performance is outstanding by nearly all standards. China, the USA, and Russia have been the big winners for the past few Olympiads. Germans, Aussies, French, Japanese, and Italians do well too, consistently landing in the Top 10. But for the next host country to score such big wins and make such a marked improvement is an important story. And I certainly think that other than the top three, any country would count 16 gold medals and 37 overall medals as a major victory. Especially when you are planning the next ones. And especially since 12 short years ago, the UK only got 15 medals in all and really worried that they were falling behind.

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To me, the GB result has ben the pleasant surprise, particularly in setting up the games for 2012. The Brits before the games were talking down their targets (maybe a bit of foxing going on), so it's been a bit unexpected for their surge to be so emphatic.

A bit unexpected? Total shock would be nearer the mark, I think.

Pre-Games, I think most of us would have settled for a medal haul of similar proportions to what we achieved in Athens (nine golds and 30 medals in total), even in spite of the UK Sport target of 12 golds and 35 medals. Personally, I thought the UK Sport target was optimistic and if we'd gone home with an Athens type result, I don't think we'd have been overly disappointed.

But it's not even the medal haul that excites me. It's all the promise that there is for 2012 as well. The swimming team for a start. How much better will Tom Daley be in four years time? Hopefully our younger boxers will stay in the system to go for gold again. The next generation of track cyclists are already coming through. A good smattering of young athletes as well. I could go on. The way things are going, it's going to be impossible to work out where to be from one day to the next in 2012.

Anyway, for what it's worth, my stories of the Games would go like this:

Gold: Double gold and two world records for Usain Bolt (so far) - Probably a controversial choice, but we all knew Michael Phelps was going to win multiple gold medals. I don't think anyone expected Bolt to do what he did in the manner that he did it. What price a third gold and third world record in the relay?

Silver: Michael Phelps - I think it's pretty much all been said.

Bronze: Great Britain - Totally unexpected success and absolutely fantastic it has been as well with plenty more, hopefully, still to come. The sky really is the limit for London now.

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Gold. Michael Phelps. 8 golds, 7 world records. Enough said.

Silver. Usain Bolt. Insanely speedy, and the first golds in 100 and 200 since Carl Lewis. Astonishing.

Bronze. The Chinese gold explosion. I knew we expected a Chinese upswing, but not to this magnitude. It probably won't last in future Olympiads, but it a sight to behold.

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^ I think I have to re-adjust my stories list to something similar.

Gold - Phelps

Silver - Bolt

Bronze - Host surges (there, I just combined China and Britain)

All three (well, four) stories have been the phenomena of the Games.

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Perhaps another story to add is the disgraceful incompetence of the judging in Taekwondo - something has to be done before 2012!

:angry:

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Perhaps another story to add is the disgraceful incompetence of the judging in Taekwondo - something has to be done before 2012!

:angry:

At least they had the grace to reverse their decision on appeal which meant Sarah Stevenson secured a bronze medal after all.But who knows how far she might have got if the original result had been judged properly?? :blink:

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Seemingly understated, but I find South Korea's performance particularly strong as well. They were nobodies pre-1970s, winning its first and only gold only as late as 1976. This leapt to 6 in 1984, 12 in 1988 when Seoul was host, 12 again in 1992, drop back to 7 in 1996, and climbed to 8 and 9 in the next two games. This time, they shot up to 13, their best performance ever, including even 1988.

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Don't forget Ukraine! And even though they don't have that many medals Brazil for making such strong performances in team sports with lengthy pool plays.

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