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This Week at the Olympics :: August 22, 2008

Aug 21, 2008

Lightning Bolt! It's been a great week for Jamaica, as Usain Bolt broke the 100 m and 200 m records! Also [KWLINK 4728]Michael Phelps goes 8 for 8 on gold medals! Find out what else happened in Beijing!

Usain Bolt Breaks Sprint Records

Jamaican Sprinter, Usain Bolt, is proving that Michael Phelps is not the only dominant Olympian at Beijing. Usain Bolt won gold in the 100 m, 200 m and 4 x 100 m relays. Not since Michael Johnson or Carl Lewis has a single sprinter been so dominant. Not only did Bolt win all three races, but he did all three in world record fashion! On Thursday, Bolt anchored the 4 x 100 relay that shattered the 16-year-old record with a time of 37.10 seconds. Bolt has gone a long way in the past decade, he finished fifth in the last two Olympic 100 m finals.

Phelps Wins 8!

Michael Phelps completed his perfect Olympic run winning gold in all eight of his events. Last Weekend, Phelps won the 100 m butterfly by barely defeating his opponent by one-one hundreth of a second. The next day, he won his eighth medal when his 4 x 100 m relay team broke the world record. Not since swimmer Mark Spitzer won seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Games has an athlete dominated the Olympics like Phelps has. In the last week, Phelps has been on every major news source. He has been put on the cover of Sports Illustrated and Time. Phelps has announced plans of writing a book. Some business experts believe Phelps may be the first billion dollar athlete.

Scoring Controversy

American gymnast Nastia Liukin came home with one gold, two silvers and bronze medal. But most people feel she should have gone home to Texas with two gold medals. A sketchy scoring system might have cost Liukin a gold medal she clearly deserved. After the women's uneven bards final on Monday night, she tied China's He Kexin in scores - even though Kexin had a bad landing. In order to break the tie, officials turned to a count-back system where the highest and lowest of the five judges' marks. In the end, Kexin took home gold and Liukin silver. The result not only raised questions about the tie-breaking system but also questioned whether the judges were biased towards Chinese athletes.

Notes Around Beijing

  • Shawn Johnson finally came home with a gold by winning the balance beam on Tuesday. She leaves Beijing with one gold and three silver medals.
  • In one of the biggest upsets in the history of softball, Japan defeated the United States 3-1 in the final of the women's softball tournament on Thursday. This was the US team's first defeat in Olympic competition since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the first time the US has failed to win the gold medal.
  • American duo Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won the gold medal in the women's beach volleyball final. The duo completed the tournament without dropping a single set and extending their unbeaten run in world competition to 108 matches.
  • As of Friday, the United States lead the medal count with 102 total medals while China comes in second with 89.

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