Saturday, August 16th 2008:
What a way to end probably the most exciting and ridiculously close week of Olympic swimming competition ever, with the difference between getting gold and silver coming down to 0.01 seconds and world records being broken not only by the gold medalists (by 4 seconds, btw), but by the top 5 teams!! The week was jam packed with events that kept us up much later than normal (although for me, it just fueled my all-night jams). But without a doubt, the highlight, or highlights rather, of the week go to watching this 23-year old swimmer make history or better yet, become a legend, winning 8 gold medals in one Olympics, breaking 7 world records and 1 Olympic record in the process.
Twelve of us watch and react to the last finals race of the 2008 Beijing Olympics for Mr. Phenomenal himself, Michael Phelps (butterfly), and his superb teammates, Aaron Piersol (backstroke), Brendan Hansen (breaststroke) and Jason Leizak (freestyle), whose "Oh my God!" comeback from behind in the 4x100 freestyle essentially gave Phelps' race for 8 gold medals a fighting chance.
I love how the torpedo himself, Ian Thorpe, is standing just to the bottom left of Debbie Phelps, and you can see his reactions (3:59) and (6:26).
And as for Rowdy Gaines, his excitement and enthusiasm is hilariously contagious as you feel your own heart beat faster as both the speed of his speech and the pitch of his voice get higher.
There was a comment said sometime later on that really makes you believe in Phelps' overall awesomeness - he is one of a few athletes where he had his eyes set on gold, in eight events no less, there was enormous pressure that ensued, and in the end, he delivered.
Gosh, after this feat, I could almost stop watching the rest of the Olympics...