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May Robinson [userpic]

Go, Alex! (an Olympic vignette)

August 10th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

where i am: home, hanging out with Dyna
how i am: hopeful
accompanied by: Josh, next door, using a power hose

Inspired by an entry byphetch, I suddenly have the Olympics at the forefront of my thoughts today…

I'm not a huge sports fan but, like many of us, do tend to get caught up in the pageantry of the Olympics. For some inexplicable reason, hubby doesn't seem very interested at all this year so, since we only have one TV and I usually let him drive it, I'm not sure how much of this year's Olympiad I'll be watching. There are some sports I don't intend to miss though: tennis and diving being the main ones. I usually really enjoy watching the gymnastics too but confess, this year, it's already been hard to watch that event...
As a Canuck, it's difficult not to get sucked in by the Kyle Shewfelt story. Hell, even "Time" magazine covered it. A gold medalist for us in the floor exercise in Athens 4 years ago, it was supposed to be fun watching him compete and defend his title this year. Not so, though. It was more nerve-wracking than anything, to be honest. You see, Kyle made a disastrous landing in training last year that resulted in him breaking both of his legs. 

Both. Legs.

He hadn't competed at all since the incident, its resulting surgeries, rehab, etc. but the various athletics committees and governing bodies deemed him fit enough to compete in China and so he made his comeback yesterday. No Hollywood ending here though, folks. Though he successfully completed every event, Kyle didn't score well enough to advance past the preliminary rounds and so now his Olympics are over. No wonder though, his legs looked half as muscular as they did back in '04. Gotta feel bad for the kid.

I watched his events all the while trying not to gnaw on my fingernails when not peeking out from behind hands covering my eyes, hoping that he hadn't pushed himself too hard and that disaster wouldn't strike. Thankfully, he seems perfectly okay. And in the exit interviews he gave, he was full of grace, class and seemed genuinely proud of his comeback despite, no doubt, feeling loss and disappointment too.

And, as much as I love watching the diving, okay men's diving (Yeah, so? What's your point?), I'm afraid I'm going to be feeling some of the same anxiety with this event as I did watching gymnastics. And that's because of the young man in my icon.


No, that's honestly not Colin Farrell or insert other scruffy dark haired Hollywood hunk's name here in his shades but Olympian Alexandre Despatie, of Canada. And Canada definitely has medal hopes riding on this gorgeous kid's broad shoulders.

At only 23, Alex is already a legend in diving and, with records ranging from youngest Commonwealth Games gold medalist to the first diver in history to be world champion in all three diving events; he really doesn't have a lot to prove. But, the closest he's come to Olympic Gold is earning a more than respectable Silver in 3-m Springboard four years ago in Athens.

So, here he is competing again… with the foot he broke in April.


Okay, given the nature of the sports involved, I'm not as worried about Alex's wellbeing during competition as I had been about Kyle's. But, I still hate knowing that he's striving for that elusive gold medal – with a country's hopes squarely on his back – when he's probably not truly functioning at 100%. Thing is, not only is he quite the gorgeous specimen to look at and watch dive, he also seems like a genuinely good kid. And an incredibly good sport with humility and a sense of humor to boot.

So, here's hoping that the kid with the Hollywood looks does get to enjoy a storybook ending in the coming weeks in China.

Oh, yeah... and did I mention he can dive?


Hell, he even does it in pairs!

Go, Alex!

P.S. ~ If you're at all curious about this kid, along with his website link above, you'll find tons of footage of him on Youtube ;).


Posted by: nonniemous (nonniemous)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)

There you are! I was about to send out the search dogs. Or an email, just to be sure you were still about.

OUCH for the broken legs. Not gonna look; we have our own x-rays like that with Youngling's broken arm last summer. But that's too bad he didn't get past the prelims. He is a much better representative for his sport than the stupid US beach volleyball guys, who when they were beaten by Latvia, said, "Yeah, we only brought our D game--but they played good." Assholes. They deserve to get beat by everyone else now, too.

As for your diving hunk, hubba hubba! The kid is gorgeous! It does suck that he's not at 100%, though. I'll have someone to root for, though the British kid is awfully cute.

I'm not up on who's competing this year, not like I usually am. But I've been sucked in despite my irritation with never getting to watch the equestiran events, the ping pong tournaments, the fencing... A gal from Portland won the Gold in saber yesterday; we didn't get to see any of it! But I have to admit NBC is being better about coverage this year than they have been in the past. Maybe they got enouch complaints about their shoddy coverage in the past.

*clings* Don't go disappearing on me, please??

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)

Hey, great to hear from you and, no worries, I am still around *g*.

Not sure what's going on with me but I just haven't been feeling like spending as much time on the computer lately. And, if the hubby had heard me say that, his response would be: who are you and what have you done with my wife? LOL

I'm restless though, been spending more time outside, going on dog-walks, etc. than I have in years. Not a bad thing at all of course and, the excess energy is clearly a result of the weight loss I've had but, it doesn't entirely explain my lack of computer interest either. I'm still reading fic but not as voraciously and the fact that my muse apparently has all out abandonned me hasn't helped with my enthusiasm either. SPN s3's hopelessness didn't really work for me and I have to say I think I've fallen out of love with the show. I've been avoiding s4 spoilers but have gleaned enough that I think it might be promising but am also keeping my expectations low. Without squee, I guess that's not helping with my on-line time either. Add to all this the daunting task of trying to play catch-up with ffnet or lj when I'm not spending every waking moment on-line and I think that's keeping me away even more (sigh). Okay, so maybe I do have a clue what's going on *g*.

But, I'm not gone and don't intend to be. Promise!

I'm overdue to write something about one of my dogs and Flurry was up next but I've wanted to get some current shots of her to include in her blurb and those I've taken haven't pleased me so I've not bothered with that yet. Boomer's not too healthy at the moment - we're worried that he's starting to slide downhill - and that's no fun.

Writing about adorable Alex above has been the first inspiration I've had in ages, to be honest. He's just such a great little athlete though. I even had an email just yesterday from a friend from my Mag7 days (she's in Cinci) who I still keep in touch with, asking me if he was competing at these games. I had pointed him out last time and she was totally taken by him, in particular how gracious he was in victory and defeat and I think it's telling that she's asked me about him now. Yeah, I don't think he shares the attitude of the US beach volleyball dudes. I watched them lose and was so happy for the Latvians who seemed utterly ecstatic and full of joy over their win. You'd think they won gold and that's really sweet to see.

I watched a fair bit of dressage coverage yesterday on some obscure channel called "Bold-TV" that our cable provider is giving a free preview of this week. Awfully impressive. I'm going to be rooting for Ian Millar who, at 61, is competing for Canada in his 9th Olympics in show jumping. He's been twice world No. 1 and has countless other titles (including more PanAm games medals than any other rider) but the best he's ever done at the Olympics is 4th... twice. He lost his wife to cancer last year and I just think it would be really very special, especially for his family, to see him finally win an Olympic medal. He came 4th in the PanAms last year so it still seems do-able too.

Edited at 2008-08-12 01:13 am (UTC)

Posted by: nonniemous (ex_nonniemou154)
Posted at: August 13th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)

I totally understand losing the squee and that cutting into your enjoyment of fandom, and therefore not wanting to be on the computer. Catching up sucks, and I probably spend more time than I should keeping up--but it's a great study break for when I get overwhelmed. And live journal has been for me about more than fandom for a long while. So it's easier to keep tuned in.

I'm withholding judgment on Season 4 until we see it. Season 3 both did and didn't fill its contract with me as a viewer and a fan, but I find that lower expectations really help my enjoyment of the show. In the end, it really is all about the eye candy! *g*

I hope Boomer's doing better and that a post about Flurry is upcoming soon! And I will keep an eye out for Ian Millar. That's a heart-breaking story and I totally agree with your idea about a medal this time around.

Go, Latvia! They're my new favorites. *g*

Posted by: phetch (phetch)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)

Heh, my hormone and Syrah-fueled post was inspirational! I'll root for your diver, unless the USA has a hotter one.

I was really digging those Latvian volleyball boys yesterday- they were so enthusiastic and happy.

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)

I was really digging those Latvian volleyball boys yesterday- they were so enthusiastic and happy

That kind of unbridled joy is contagious. I was really happy for them and would love to see them get a medal because you know damn well they'll truly appreciate it.

Edited at 2008-08-12 01:13 am (UTC)

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Dean in GF 1

OMG-that poor man. Both legs. ;( He may not have won any medals this year/ But he gets one for stepping up to the plate and competing all the same-that took guts ;)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Alex Despartie

Oh yeah, he definitely did himself proud. and his teammates and country.

Dipping into the shallow end though... what do you think of my cute little hottie of a diver? I just loves him *g*

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Alec smiling

Exactly ;)
On a shallow note-oh my yes ;) Very, very nice ;)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
Dean Facepalm

LOL, yeah and he's one of those younger little guys who, at my age, I can't decide if I want to adopt or lust after. To do both seems incredibly pervy but, alas, I think I'm sitting on the perv fence where Alex is concerned at the moment *g*

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Jensen LOL

Well think of it this way-he will get older and we're just practice perving until then ;)

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Alex Despartie

I do like the way your mind works ;D

Posted by: Late Night Drops of Random (moondropz)
Posted at: August 10th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Dean blissed out

LOL, the only way to go-perving all the way ;)