Monday, August 25, 2008

On The Tunney Side of the Street #191, August 25, 2008 (

After Further Review ... A potpourri of observations from the 2008 Olympic Games:

The Government of China pulled out all the 'stops' to impress the television world of how important the Olympic Games meant to them. I'm not sure it meant that much to the "man on the street," but the country has to be proud, especially with all the Gold medals won by the Chinese athletes(

Michael Phelps' 8 Gold medals did himself, his mother Debbie, and the U.S.A. proud as well (! I hope young athletes appreciated the dedication and commitment of Phelps. When a competitor openly announces goals, then competes at the highest level to achieve them, the remarkableness of that feat can only be applauded. Further, Phelps' humility during the plethora of interviews that followed demonstrated his appreciation of his teammates, as well as respect for his competitors. One has to admire that.

However, in events that called for subjective judgment, politics always seem to "pop up." Questionable subjective judgment is not new, but certainly was evident in Women's Gymnastics, especially the Uneven Bars, where China's He Kexin and Nastia Liukin tied (the same score of 16.727) for the top mark, yet Kexin received the Gold and Liukin the Silver on the Olympic "tie-breaker system." Why not both getting Gold medals? Such was the case in the 1988 Olympics when Valeri Liukin, Nastia's father, tied for first in the Men's Horizontal Bar with both competitors being awarded Gold medals. The judges didn't knock Nastia out of the Gold - the tie-breaker system did ( What if Milorad Cavic and Phelps simultaneously touched the timing pads in the 100 meter 'fly'? Wouldn't have both been awarded Gold medals?

Usain Bolt's ( pounding of his chest before crossing the finish line in his 100 meter heat in track might have drawn a 15-yard penalty in the NFL for taunting. It's no disgrace to get beat by someone of Bolt's talent, but his tasteless behavior is discomforting to his competitors, as well as the audience.

It was a sad day when the International Olympic Committee ( to eliminate Women's Softball and Men's Baseball. Was it because of the USA's dominance? If so, politics, again, rears its ugly head. At one time USA's Men's Basketball was dominant, even embarrassing, to other countries. Since we sent our U.S. coaches to other countries, the competition has (somewhat) leveled itself out.

Olympic competition was designed to have athlete compete against athlete or T.E.A.M. against T.E.A.M. The counting of medals by countries only exacerbates the "I'm better than you attitude" between nations that are already at odds. (

Will you look at Olympic competition as an individual vs. individual basis?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.comYou can also visit Jim's blog at: http://jimtunney.blogspot.comA new book "The Encore Effect" by Mark Sanborn, speaker/authorVisit for more information.

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