Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ach, Gross Berlin…

The Track and Field World Championships ended last Sunday in Berlin. It was a wonderful week of competition and the crowd seemed absolutely overjoyed – I saw repeated “olas” (Mexican waves) in the public throughout the competition. Who said the Germans did not know how to have fun? Usain Bolt was the star of these Championships because of his historic world records on the 100 and 200 meters. But there were so many other great performances that I was just impressed with the terrific “ensemble cast”….

The US did pretty well as usual in those track and field competitions. They remain the only country that wins medals across the board, in pretty much all disciplines. Well sure, the Jamaicans kicked their butts in the sprint, both in men and women’s races. And for the Jamaicans, beating the Americans is always as sweet as if Puerto Rico defeated the US in basketball…

My favorite athlete of this generation, Allyson Felix, saved America’s day in sprint by beautifully winning the 200 meters (her third victory in a row in a world championship). That girl is amazing – I’ve had an eye on her since she ran junior championships – she was already terrific and it was not hard to predict that she would be a star. But she has everything going for her, her grace, her smarts (she finished her undergrad degree), and her sweetness.

It is just sad that track and field has to take so much of a back seat to football / baseball / basketball in this country. Such a beautiful sport!!

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