I don’t think I’ve yelled so hard at my TV since the UCLA win against Missouri in the 1995 NCAA Basketball Championships.
In case you hadn’t seen it, the United States beat the French in the 4×100 Freestyle relay by a tenth of a second.
But to me, what made the competition so amazing wasn’t the win and it wasn’t the fact that despite being underdogs and being the recipient of some smacktalk from the French swim team.
It was how Jason Lezak closed the gap and ultimately beat the French. Take a look at the statistics on the NBC Olympics results site:
If you watched the race, you saw famed swimmer Michael Phelps basically go neck and neck with the French in the first leg of the race (47.51 vs. 47.91), Garrett Weber-Gale overtake the French to take the lead (47.02 vs. 47.05), and Cullen Jones subsequently lose the lead to the French during his leg. (47.65 vs. 46.63)
Now it’s important to note that Cullen Jones didn’t perform poorly at all. To the contrary the time for his leg was about the same as the famed Michael Phelp’s. (47.65 vs. 47.51) No, that fact was that the French swimmer, Frederick Bousquet, for the 3rd leg was JUST THAT GOOD, beating Jones’ time by more than a full second. No – everyone on the United States relay team performed admirably up until that point.
No, Jason Lezak beat the FASTEST SWIMMER on the French team and he did it with the FASTEST leg time of anyone on not just the United States team, but on ANY TEAM competing. (46.06 vs. 46.73)
Just look at that time: 46.06 seconds! Everyone else took at least 46.5!
So seriously – if you haven’t seen it, you simply have to see this race. They’re saying it’s the best 4×100 Freestyle in the history of the Olympics.
But perhaps it was the expressions on the faces of the smacktalking Silver medal French relay team that puts the cherry on top of just an amazing United States victory:
Man – everyone loves a good smackdown. Go USA!