Brain Bubbles

Expressions of a caffiene regulated brain.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Legend Is Born...

A Legend is Born... Posted by Hello Last night, I saw such an incredible display of courage, tenacity and absolute sportsmanship that I am compelled to write about this young man this morning. I am sure that Americans across the country were on the edge of their seats last night to watch Paul Hamm in the mens individual all around mens artistic gymnastics final. Well my Yankee friends - you were not the only country glued to yourarmchairs!! For those of you who missed it, Paul Hamm had a great start to his competition, with good performances on floor, rings, and pommel horse. He then stepped up to do an impressive vault. His landing was slightly out, and caused him to step sideways, lose his balance and tumble unceremoniously almost into the arms of the judges seated at the side of the landing area. From lying in first place to about 7th...From hero to zero in as many seconds. This young man from Wisconsin...does he run away crying? No. Does he rant and rave and storm around at this robbing of what could have been the best moment of his life? No. Does he play up to the cameras and wring his hands? No. He calmly gets up, dusts himself off and walks back, and gets himself ready for the next event. His parrallel bars routine, is as near to perfect as I have ever seen, a 9.837 and suddenly everyone is watching this young guy again....he's back in the picture. This is unheard of in gymnastic competition! Coming into his final event, the high bar. Many of the contenders for medals have had smaller mishaps of their own, opening the field only very slightly. The two Koreans have had the best performances of their lives, and the gold medal is going to be decided between these two. It seems almost impossible - a score of about 9.830 is what Paul Hamm needs to win. He is the last competitor to go, everyone else in the hall is done. Everyone is watching, fans, family, tv viewers around the world, waiting to see if he can repeat his good performance from the parallel bars. He steps up. It's heartbreaking. Knowing that he has come so close. He takes control of that high bar like he owns it! Balls to the wall, and he does release move, after release move, and a third release move...every catch is solid, his giant swings are perfect, just the dismount is left. The world holds it's breath for this man, and it is exhaled in a disbelieving collective joyous yelling worldwide, for what seemed impossible only minutes ago. A perfect landing. The score... 9.837 Paul Hamm is the new Olympic Gold Medallist in the Mens All Around Individual Artistic Gymnastics Competition. God Dang, he really deserves it. He celebrates with his hands in the air, and when he comes out again to receive his medals, he has that quiet Wisconsin look on his face, pride, joy, a quick wistful look at his twin Morgan in the stands, almost like he is wishing that he were there with him to share the moment on the podium. Then the flags are raised, and the Star Spangled Banner is playing (I'm in tears and I'm not even American), he shakes the hands of the openly devastated Koreans on either side of him and invites them to stand with him for the photographs. Since these boys all have shoulders like army tanks, they barely fit next to one another, so he puts his arms around each of them and they smile together.