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Thread: Track and Field

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    Track and Field

    I think it's time to start a track and field thread. So far I've heard about the Women's 10,000 meters, won by an Ethiopian woman who repeated her feat of 2008. How did I miss that last night? Was it run in the first segment of NBC coverage, which I missed because of a work obligation? In any case I did get to see the men's 10,000 meters, and that was a corker. Did anyone else see it? Let's discuss! Expertise not required.

    Tonight I think is the men's 100 meters. Or at least, tonight on NBC is the men's 100 meters. Presumably it's already a fait accompli.

    Edit: I just had my first opportunity to watch Oscar Pistorius run. What an impressive moment. Several thoughts came to me (one being admiration for this guy's dedication and athletic skills). I've read about the worries that some people have about whether he has an unfair advantage because his lower legs weigh only about three pounds each, and because of the spring he gets from them. But as I watched, I became aware that whatever edge he has is outweighed by the difficulty of side-to-side balance for him. His prostheses have no pivot ability at all--no ankle, no flexible soles. Not only that, with each strike on the ground, he kind of slide-twists his "foot," which must be a very risky move for his knee joints. I'm also fairly sure he wouldn't be allowed to run in races where the athletes run multiple laps around the track and cluster tightly together, as they do in the 10,000 meter race we just saw. His curved metal prostheses could endanger other runners, or he could easily be tripped up himself.

    So I think that although the day may come when there are prosthetics that give their wearers an unfair advantage over unmodified runners, this is not that day, and Pistorius deserves his chance to compete here. Besides the basic fairness of it, I think the inspirational value will be huge, and not just to people like wounded veterans or kids with disabilities, but to everyone.
    Last edited by Olympia; 08-04-2012 at 08:17 PM.

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    In the Swimming thread I thought about asking someone to create a new thread on Track & Field. Thank you so much for that, Olympia!

    I plan to wake up at 3:30am for the Men's 100m semi final. Till then, good night everyone!

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    A golden on Saturday evening for Great Britain… 3 golds

    Jessica Ennis heptathlon lived up to expectations and almost reached 7 000 points, sooo relieved… "I'm the happiest girl in the world."

    Greg Rutherford long jump 6.31.

    Mohammed Farah won the 10 000 m race. Tactical race sprinting from behind in the last round. Wife Ryana and daughter Tanja cheering with him in the arena.

    Awesome evening. Hard for athletes from other nations because of the audience screaming non stop for like 2 hours. Women's discus Sandra Percovic Croatia got the audience to clap for her and won, 69,11. Ending the evening Fraser-Pryce Jamaica won 100 m, 10,75.

    Haven't watched this evening but soon men's 100 meters final B or B, I bet Bolt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I think it's time to start a track and field thread. So far I've heard about the Women's 10,000 meters, won by an Ethiopian woman who repeated her feat of 2008. How did I miss that last night? Was it run in the first segment of NBC coverage, which I missed because of a work obligation?
    You missed a great performance! She took off at the end and was the only runner in the wide-angle picture at the tape. This was the first track and field event and I think it was shown earlier live, not in the prime time coverage.

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    The 100 m final was insane. 7 runners below 10 seconds, and only Asafa Powell (who pulled up due to injury) was slower. At the 40 m mark, you couldn't tell which of five men would win (so no, not fait accompli). Truly remarkable. Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter ever. He owns the three fastest times. Sport at it's most purely beautiful. But the race will likely go down even more legendarily than his remarkable Beijing run. I'm hoping he runs 9.5 or less one day.

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    Thanks for all the reports! I'm sorry I missed the Women's 10,000, but I got to see the end of the Women's Marathon. There was a sort of a sprint at the end, as there was at the end of the Men's 10,000; both were heart-in-mouth exciting.

    And I officially adore Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. They had a little profile of her, and she talked in a voice that was at once demure and amused about growing up in a tough area of Kingston. Once when she was only abut twelve, a man propositioned her. She went and told her mother, and her mother came out of the house with a cutlass. Talk about parental support of athletes! I loved her reaction when she figured out who had won--sprawled right out on the track.

    Apparently Jessica Ennis had almost as most pressure on her to win the heptathlon as Australia's Cathy Freeman had in Sidney to win the Women's 400 meters. Such a relief that she won. She sounds like a delightful person, very humble and upbeat. I'm so glad we've gotten to know all these interesting, hardworking athletes.

    Glad to hear that a Croatian athlete has won a gold in track and field. Even when Yugoslavia was together, it wasn't what you would call a formidable Olympic power. Croatia by itself has a snowball's chance in the Sahara of winning gold medals, but yippee! It beat the odds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    The 100 m final was insane. 7 runners below 10 seconds, and only Asafa Powell (who pulled up due to injury) was slower. At the 40 m mark, you couldn't tell which of five men would win (so no, not fait accompli). Truly remarkable. Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter ever. He owns the three fastest times. Sport at it's most purely beautiful. But the race will likely go down even more legendarily than his remarkable Beijing run. I'm hoping he runs 9.5 or less one day.
    I agree. What a race! Can't believe all of 7 runners below 10.00.
    Congratulations to all the medalists! Especially Bolt!

    I am so sad for Asafa Powell, though.
    He is a great athlete but he's been always over-shadowed by his countymen for years. This one was supposedly his last chance to compete at the Olympics, right? I SOOOO wished him on the podium...The Goddess of the Olympics (both at Beijing and London) never smiled on him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    The 100 m final was insane. 7 runners below 10 seconds, and only Asafa Powell (who pulled up due to injury) was slower. At the 40 m mark, you couldn't tell which of five men would win (so no, not fait accompli). Truly remarkable. Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter ever. He owns the three fastest times. Sport at it's most purely beautiful. But the race will likely go down even more legendarily than his remarkable Beijing run. I'm hoping he runs 9.5 or less one day.
    Bolt has equaled Carl Lewis as the only man to repeat gold in the 100.

    If Bolt can break new ground and do it in the 200 then he might have a claim as the greatest sprinter.

    For me it was, is and will always be Jesse Owens who like Lewis not only excelled in the sprints but the long jump.

    Congratulations to Bolt and hope he runs his best in the 200.

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    Jesse Owens wasn't a specialist but a multi-skilled athlete, as was Carl Lewis. Owens probably would have had a longer career except for the suspension of the Olympics during the War. The 1940 and 1944 Games were both canceled. And let's not forget Ralph Metcalfe, another African-American track star who won medals in both the 1932 and 1936 Olympics and had records second only to Owens'. After his athletic career ended, he got a BA and a Master's degree, served in the armed forces in World War II (remember, the forces were segregated in those days, coached track, went into business, and finally served in the U.S. Congress. You could say that Metcalfe was a decathlete in the game of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Jesse Owens wasn't a specialist but a multi-skilled athlete, as was Carl Lewis. Owens probably would have had a longer career except for the suspension of the Olympics during the War. The 1940 and 1944 Games were both canceled. .

    Jesse Owens was much more than a great athlete............he transcended his sport.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQopJmQry4

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    Certainly that's true.

    In fact, one of the great things about the Olympics is that the Games can serve as a springboard for something greater. My theory is that the discipline and ability to set goals often carries over into other fields of endeavor. (Of course some athletes just get tempted by the perks of celebrity and burn out.) Owens is one of the best-ever examples of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Certainly that's true.

    In fact, one of the great things about the Olympics is that the Games can serve as a springboard for something greater. My theory is that the discipline and ability to set goals often carries over into other fields of endeavor. (Of course some athletes just get tempted by the perks of celebrity and burn out.) Owens is one of the best-ever examples of this.
    If we look at the context of the times .......
    You could say similar things about Joe Louis. Seems impossible for many of us to ever fully understand what the trailblazing African-American athletes had to endure.

    In 1955 Jesse was appointed special sports ambassador for USA by President Eisenhower.
    Isn't this the same honor most recently given to Michelle

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    Yes, Joe Louis had a huge effect. The second (I think) Louis-Max Schmeling fight had an impact similar to that of Jesse Owens beating all those German athletes right before Hitler's eyes. Schmeling was also German, a supposedly superior Aryan, and Louis knocked him out in the first round.

    And then there's Jackie Robinson. His appearance on the Dodgers' line-up in 1947 was a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. There's a reason sports isn't just a frivolous pastime. People get emotionally involved in sports. If they accept someone on the field of play, they're more likely to accept that person in other arenas of life. About ten years earlier than Robinson's great moment, the NAACP law team led by Thurgood Marshall had integrated the University of Maryland Law School. But what came into people's homes was the radio broadcasts of this incredible ballplayer taking part in one of the sport's legendary teams. He really did pave the way for the advances that came later, and he also participated. He joined many marches and also worked actively to get African Americans chosen as sports team managers, not just as players.
    Last edited by Olympia; 08-06-2012 at 09:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Yes, Joe Louis had a huge effect. The second (I think) Louis-Max Schmeling fight had an impact similar to that of Jesse Owens beating all those German athletes right before Hitler's eyes. Schmeling was also German, a supposedly superior Aryan, and Louis knocked him out in the first round.

    And then there's Jackie Robinson. His appearance on the Dodgers' line-up in 1947 was a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. There's a reason sports isn't just a frivolous pastime. People get emotionally involved in sports. If they accept someone on the field of play, they're more likely to accept that person in other arenas of life. About ten years earlier than Robinson's great moment, the NAACP law team led by Thurgood Marshall had integrated the University of Maryland Law School. But what came into people's homes was the radio broadcasts of this incredible ballplayer taking part in one of the sport's legendary teams. He really did pave the way for the advances that came later, and he also participated. He joined many marches and also worked actively to get African Americans chosen as sports team managers, not just as players.
    Usain Bolt's boasting last night "no one will ever beat me" was taken right out of the Muhammed Ali playbook.

    Jackie Robinson was chosen by Branch Rickey not just for his skill but for his character.

    Branch Rickey knew there were many African -American ballplayers good enough to excel in the big leagues.
    But Rickey knew the player he chose would face alot of abuse.

    He told Robinson, "anyone can fight back. I need a man strong enough not to fight back."

    To me, that is perhaps the most profound statement ever made in the history of American sports.

    To get back to 2012 track I hope Bolt is at his best in the 200. It will be historical if he wins it and good for the sport.

    As you mentioned earlier, Jesse never had the chance to run in the Olympics again due to WW2.

    Jackie Robinson said his greatest sports hero growing up was Jesse Owens (Jackie was an All-American football player and track star at UCLA.

    Jackie always said if not for Jesse Owens what he accomplished would not have been possible.
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-06-2012 at 09:33 AM.

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    One view of the changes in tolerance in the USA is that they are mainly due to WW2. Not only did Hitler give racism & religious intolerance a "bad name", since people saw how intolerance carried to its nth degree into hideous results played out, and did not want to be associated with it any more. Additionally, more than 15 million Americans were in uniform in WW2 and became familiar with people who did not go to their church, & were of differing races & ethnicities. For many Americans, this was their first real contact with people who were not like themselves. As to religion, the chaplain assigned to a unit served not only people of his own faith. Rabbis & priests & ministers became the spiritual support of Protestants, Jews & Catholics in their hardest combat times.

    It is striking how quickly change started to come -- the two decades after WW2 gave birth to the most important changes.

    Yes, integration of sport was early on. But perhaps the most striking turnaround was done by Harry Truman, who prior to WW2 had given racist/bigoted speeches, who integrated the Armed Forces by Executive Order 9981 in July of 1948.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9981
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 08-06-2012 at 09:56 AM.

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