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August 11, 2016

They Went for the Gold

Harry M. Covert

What a pleasant week for most everyone, including me. I got serious and into good shape for the Olympiad in Rio.


For me it began with the marvelous 1981 uplifting movie Chariots of Fire. Then the complete schedule of events to be televised with plenty of snacks, sandwiches and diet sodas of various types, even some not for public awareness.


In between the athletic competitions we worked in the baseball games where our local East Division leaders were accumulating first place positions.


I let the national political excursions take a backseat for a while, to gold, silver and bronze medalists.


First, how joyful it has been to see Michael Phelps, of Baltimore, and Katie Ledecky, of Bethesda, to happily show off what their disciplined hard work achieved in the swimming competition. Words like brilliant, thrilling and awesome are their descriptions. I decided not to use great, amazing, fantastic and super dooper. They deserve them, too, but another scribe or Pharisee can do that.


How outstanding are each of the men and women, or women and men?


From the Maryland perspective Free Staters can gloat over the Phelps and Ledecky achievements? Magnificent for certain.


It has been delightful to learn about the new physical therapy fad of “cupping.” Those bruise-like brown cylindrical things so prevalent on the broad shoulders and back of Phelps. I thought sure he must be suffering. Well, the unsightly markings must be beneficial because. as of this writing, Mr. Phelps has won 21 gold medals.


Out of the pools now, I watched the women's and men's hardball matches, which seemed akin to games called soccer, lacrosse, rugby and others.


It has been interesting to watch so many National Basketball Association players on loan to various countries like Croatia. France, Spain, China, Turkey and Team USA. Exciting games.


I was particularly tickled with the rugby matches where Japan brought in several "ringers" who did not resemble citizens of the Land of the Rising Son. The same held true for competitors from Kenya, New Zealand, Australia, etcetera.


Other new sporting activities will join the 2020 games. Last week a national marble shooting competition was held in Middletown, Frederick County. The Frederick County Knucklers? They were fantastic. Why not such events in the next Olympic games in Tokyo?


Most of us naturally pay close attention to our athletes in baseball, football and basketball. The other sports are fun to watch; dressage and horsemanship, two person and team volleyball, archery, shooting, and others are fun to watch.


The competitors are examples of true champions and how to go about it. Olympians! Each has a special story and we watch all of the events with the latest technology. My thanks to the remote control with the batteries.


I'm an Olympian in the viewing department. Just plain old fun watching great athletes perform for their countries.


Please pass the crackers and cheese, potato chips, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, and shrimp dip. A few more days to go.


We'll be hearing more songs from Ipanema, Chariots of Fire and national anthems for a few more days.


Yellow Cab
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