Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quadrennial Hot Weather Events: NBC Special

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Note: we're working with a limited vocabulary, guys. This cuts out a lot of what we can cover, based on the words (and images) we can't use. We're still going to get a few articles out there, though, because these events don't happen every day!

My parents recorded the "first festivities" for the 1988 events, and I remember watching those parachuters a dozen times through the years (a quick search reveals that I've mentioned this before, too). By 1992, we were given all sorts of reading material in school about that series of competitions, so it only made sense that I'd wind up infatuated with them. In a past post I've talked about my 2004 revelation that I would never be an a great athlete, and in 2010 TheTalkingBox did a rundown of the various events that make up the snowy sports. Well, NBC figured it was a great time to recap some moments, too. [Seeing some of these old clips made me remember just how poor resolution used to be LoL!] They narrowed down the large field to twenty-five years and only the hot-weather times. They chose the 30 contenders and had the internet order them from #30 to #1. So, let's see what made the list and how the internet ordered them...

NBC Sports Special
"30 Greatest Olympic Moments"
30. Pablo Morales swims to win in the 90s Spain Events after being shafted several times before. [can't say that I personally remember his history or this moment, but it's sweet.]

29. Ian Thorpe swims to win in Greece. [again, nothing in my own memory on this one.]

28. Donovan Bailey breaks the world record in a track event in the Georgia city. It has now been beaten, tho. [breaking a world record is cool and all, but if it's been broken already, is it worth noting?] 

27. The 10K in Spain - Ethiopia and South Africa women go for it and Ethiopia wins. [I thought this was a really nice clip!]

26. Jackie Joyner-Kersee pulls through in a handful of events in Spain. [I totally remember her. She was a big favorite in the reading material specifically geared for girls to have idols. I then ran track in the spring of 1993... and never again, LoL.]

25. Rowing - Steven Redgrave goes for his fifth yellowish shiny circle at the turn of the century. [I think the repeat athletes are my favorites.] 

24. Janet Evans was only 17 when she won BIG over her opponents. [She was another one who I grew up favoring, so I was excited that she was trying to make a comeback this year. too bad she's won't be competing, though.]

23. In Greece, Hicham El-Guerrojj won for the 1500 after tripping up in the previous two quadrennial events. [no recollection of this one, but that's nice that he was even able to compete again after those - I don't know if I'd have the guts to!] 

22. Carl Lewis and the US go for the 4x100 track relay in Spain and win, PLUS come up with a world record. [I find swimming relays way more exciting than running relays, which probably explains why I have no real memory or interest here.]

21. US Men's Basketball with LeBron, Kobe, and Shaq in China. [If you know me in person, you probably are aware that basketball is one of those sports that I just can't stand. So, I never watch it, even when the quadrennials come around. good for them, tho!] 

20. Cathy Freeman running for Australia in Australia and winning. [I only vaguely have a memory of this one, but it was nice to see again.] 

19. Men's 4x200m Freestyle Swim Relay in Greece - Australia was the big favorite but the USA pulled it out. [you may recall this one... Michael Phelps was one of the guys on the team and you know you've seen clips of pretty much all of his major races. it's a heartwarming moment and I'd say it would be worth looking up on youtube or something similar.]

18. Paul Hamm, Men's All-Around in Greece - Hamm vaults and takes a messy fall. BUT, his high bar is so fabulous that he walks away with a win anyway. [tears AND goosebumps, baby! LOVE IT!]

17. Women's Beach Volleyball in the pouring rain of China: Kerri Walsh and Misty Treanor of the US beat China to win! [the rain was the memorable party here. unless, of course, you're all about the girls on the beach.]

16. Michael Phelps in Greece, 100m Butterfly, against Crocker, another American. It's close, but Phelps wins. [I don't know what made this race particularly notable, honestly. the fact that it was US vs. US?] 

15. Carly Patterson in Greece gets the win in the All-Around. [I'm actually embarrassed to say that I missed this one originally. That summer was all over the place for me, and I don't know how I didn't make it to a TV for this gymnastics legendary moment.] 

14. Laura Wilkinson in Australia wins diving, despite a foot injury. [it's kinda creepy, but I would have placed this one higher - injured athletes continuing to compete is one of the most impressive things ever.]

13. The First Festivities for the Events in China. [I'm pretty sure I've watched these four times by now. All the use of humans to make everything work was the most exciting thing ever!] 

12. Usain Bolt, in China, huge lead and big win for Jamaica. [shockingly awesome!]

11. The Men's Basketball Dream Team in Spain, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson, among others, had some amazing matches leading up to the big win. [again, it's a basketball thing so I don't have much background, but I know all of the names (cough, thanks Space Jam! cough) so I know this was a big deal.]

10. At the events in Australia, a Russian hadn't lost a wrestling match in 13 years, but lost to American Rulon Gardner. [wrestling is another sport I just don't pay attention to, but that's CRAZY!]

9. Michael Johnson, in the Georgia city, wins the 400 and the 200 - first person to do so AND destroys his own world record! [he's one of the big male idols that were in all of those readers, and I've particularly found it interesting when runners succeed in multiple events - it doesn't seem to be as common as it is with swimmers.]

8. USA Women's soccer in the Georgia city, beats China. [yeah... I don't really do soccer all that much, either. I guess you could say that I just prefer individual sports to team ones?]

7. Usain Bolt, 100M, in China, new world record. [I found it interesting that two moments from Usain Bolt in the same year was odd.] 

6. Muhammad Ali, in the Georgia city, gets to light the main stick at the First Festivities. Others who took part in the pass-off just before him included Evander Holyfield and Janet Evans. [I honestly don't know why this is such a big deal. Maybe it was because I didn't see it live and it has lost some significance over the years?] 

5. Nastia Liukin & Shawn Johnson, at the China competition Women's All-Around - it was neck-and-neck but Nastia wins and Shawn comes in second. [such an amazing feat! the excitement over two Americans placing was incredible!]

4. Phelps goes for 7th yellowish shiny circle in China with the 100M Butterfly, getting 1/100th second over Cavic. [I don't even know how to comprehend this small margin of victory, but it's astounding and exciting. :)]

3. Derek Redmond in Spain, 400M semifinal - injury knocks him out but he hops along until he is in too much pain to do anything but hang onto a trainer. [good for him! An interview with him is included, and he talks about how he gets more letters from the Americans now than the British, his own people. He and I both find it interesting that the Americans voted this moment so highly, but I guess it comes from that heart-wrenching moment when you don't want to see a DQ but some sort of time on your record.]

2. Michael Phelps - 4x100M freestyle - France was in the lead when a Phelps teammate made up some time and won in the end! [well, I guess relay races are a type of team event, and I like those, so maybe not all hope is lost on me, LoL. Like so many others, I had Phelps Phever last quadrennial and most likely will again.]

1. In the Georgia city, the Women's Team Gymnastics event comes down to Kerri Strug's vault. She needs a 9.493+, and falls on her first try, injuring herself. She limps back to the starting point and vaults again, unable to even leave the platform on her own, but her 9.712 wins the event for the US. [My God! The Magnificent Seven were sixteen years ago already?? I was up until the wee hours watching the gymnastics that year, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this moment. I'll never forget it and it seems that most of America won't, either. I knew it had to place, and I have to say that I'm proud it made it all the way to the top of the list!]
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