Category Archives: Memorable Moments

Bye Bye Beijing Olympics

It was a beautiful month, it’s so sad the Olympics happen once in 4 years. Let me share my best moments from Beijing:-

Michael Phelps winning the 100 meter freestyle

After seeing the Serbian swimmer lead from start to near the finish I thought Phelps would miss his 8th gold medal. But Phelps made a stunning jump at the final metre to win Gold.

Usain Bolt  jog to win 100 metre gold

I didn’t watch this race on TV but listened to it on BBC sports radio. The fact Usain Bolt  jogged the final 10 metres to win the 100M gold means sooner or later a sprinter somewhere will dash 100m in 9.6 flat.

Constatina Tomescu break

I love marathon running and as I watched Romanian Tomescu break from the other runners, I just wished one day I will be able to run at such a high pace and not implode at the 32K mark. The point most novice runners hit the wall!

Kenenisa Bekele Final Kick

As a Kenyan it is disheartening to see Kenenisa Bekele make that final kick and there is no Kenyan runner to match him.

Samwel Kamau Wanjiru  Winner Mens Olympic marathon

I loved the salute he made as he entered the Birds nest stadium on his way to break the Olympic marathon record. At 21 I never rated the guy to win the mens marathon but he was the strongest on the day it mattered most.

If you are already feeling the hangover of Beijing Olympics don’t go to sleep yet,  the Paraolympics are just getting started!

Olympic Scandals: Women Athletes Suspected To Be Men

The beijing olympics has been a success, no scandals have been reported. I did a google search on Olympic scandals and I only got scandals from the past. The most interesting bits were about the following women athletes who were suspected to be men.

Polish Runner Ewar Kobukkowska

She was the first woman to be caught in a gender test in 1967. In 1964 summer olympics in Tokyo, She won gold medal in women 4 x 100 meter relay and the bronze in womens 100 meters sprint.

She was found to have a rare genetic condition which gave her no advantage over other athletes, but was nonetheless banned from competing in the Olympics and professional sports.

Indian Runner Santhi Soundarajan.

She won the silver medal in the 800 meters track event at the 2006 Asian games in Doha, Qatar. She failed a the sex determination test and was stripped of her medal. Her case is yet to be concluded however.

Soundarajan  is reported to have lived her entire life as woman.

Brazilian Judo, Edinanci Silva,

At Sydney, she beat Australian Judoka Natalie Jenkins. At a press conference Jenkins raised the issue of Silva’s gender by constantly referring to her as “he” Eventually Silva was confirmed as female but not without some considerable embarrassment.

German athlete, Dora Ratjen 

In 1936 a German athlete named Dora Ratjen finished fourth in the women’s high jump. Twenty years later, Ratjen disclosed the he was in fact Hermann Ratjen and that the Nazis had forced him to compete as a woman.

Brazil Women Vollyeball team

After 2000 Sydney Olympics I remember reading about How volleyball teams had complained about the Brazilian volley team. The team officials admitted some of their players were formerly hermaphrodite but they had undertook an operation to be women. Even after the IOC confirmed the players to be men, most girls from the other teams continue insist they had played against men.

Beijing Olympics : Missing Stars and Pranksters From Athens Games

Time has wings! its feels like yesterday we were watching Athens 2004 Olympics and now Beijing Summer Olympics is just about to get underway.

Some athletes from Athens Games have not survived to make it to Beijing Summer Olympics. I will miss the following star athletes who made Athens Olympics memorable

1) Tears streamed down El Guerrouj’s cheeks when he finally managed to crown his glorious middle-distance career with Olympic gold in the 1500m.

2) It was the smile of Athens Olympics! 34 year old Kelly Holmes’ clinched double gold in the 800m and 1500m

3) Ian Thorpe, The Aussie pool shark. It’s hard to believe he is only 26 but retired!

THE PRANKSTERS

1) The Canadian prankster who disrupted the Diving final. He got his five minutes of fame plus five months in jail.

2) Brazilian De Lima was leading the marathon when this happened! He finished second and said: “If it were not for that lunatic, I am sure I would have won the gold.

All Great pictures courtesy of BBC News

Am looking forward to highs and lows of Beijing Summer Olympics. Are you ready?

Running Story of the Year 2007

The story of the runner who broke her leg and crawled to the finish is the best running story I read in 2007.

Claire Markwardt’s horrific fall in the final stretch of the Ohio state high school cross country championship was full of courage and perseverance.

Nothing heroic about falling in a race, but when you fall and crawl the final 45 feet to the finish line, you are a hero.

According to media reports, the horrific drama unfolded, as she entered the stadium at Columbus’ Scioto Downs, with about 400 meters to go, “she heard her left leg crack, she thought it was just a simple muscle pull and kept running” because, as she says “There was a runner from one of our rival schools right in front of me, and I kept staring at the back of her jersey and pushing myself to catch her.”But some 200 meters later, Markwardt heard the leg crack again and she then fell down infront of the crowds. One of Markwardt’s teammates, unaware of what had happened, encouraged her to get up. She tried, using her right leg. But as soon as she shifted weight to the left, the loudest crack yet came. She just couldnt stand on her feet. “At that point, I knew what had happened. I knew my leg was broken pretty badly. And I knew I couldn’t get up again. So I started crawling,” she said.

In today’s world where so many are uninspired or give up too easily Claire is really awesome and unique.

Dorando Pietri Collapse at The Finish of 1908 Olympics Marathon

The most famous incident of 1908 London Olympics came at the end of the marathon. The first to cross the finish line was Dorando Pietri of Italy, who was later disqualified.

According to 1908 Olympic report, what happened was, When Dorando entered the stadium, he took the wrong path and when umpires redirected him, he fell down for the first time. He got up with their help, in front of 75,000 trembling spectators.

He fell four more times, and every time was helped up by the umpires. In the end, though totally exhausted, he managed to finish the race in first place. Of his total time of 2h 54min 46s, ten minutes were needed for that last 350 metres.

The American team immediately lodged a complaint against the help Pietri received from the umpires. The complaint was accepted and Pietri was disqualified and second place finisher, American Johnny Hayes was declared the winner.

Officials help Dorando to the finish line

Since he had not been responsible for his disqualification, Queen Alexandra next day awarded him a gold cup. That was a kind gesture form the royal family who had earlier been selfish when they demanded changes to the marathon route that caused an increase in the distance to 42K from 40k. Read, How the Royal family set the Current marathon distance of 42k.