Friday, August 15, 2008
Michael Phelps is a swimming machine who is about to break every Olympic swim record ever held, currently having won 6 gold medals while setting records each time.
The men's basketball team is an NBA star-studded bunch led by Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and others, and it is on a mission to not stub its toe the way U.S. men's basketball squads of the recent past have done.
But it is the exploits, and frankly the good looks, of a trio of U.S. women that has captured this sports fans attention.
Darra Torres is an American swimmer who has already won a silver medal in these games as a member of the Women's 400m Freestyle Relay squad. A silver medalist on a relay team. What's the big deal, you may say?
Well, Darra Torres is also the 41-year old mother of a two year old little girl. That's right, 41-years old. The relay silver was her 10th Olympic medal won during her career, the first of which she won at the Los Angeles games...in 1984! Two years earlier, at age 14, she had set her first world record.
Now over two decades later, she continues to win medals, and is the favorite this weekend in a 50m sprint freestyle race. Darra is just five years younger than me, and let me tell you that my bones are already creaking and my muscles popping just getting up in the morning.
But Darra Torres is not your typical 41-year old. The woman has one of the most incredible, sexy physiques that you are ever going to see on a woman of any age. She is in better shape than most athletes two decades younger. The odds are that you are seeing her at her final Olympiad, so if you haven't caught her act, look her up this weekend.
Meanwhile in the sand of the Women's Beach Volleyball contests, perhaps the most unbeatable American women in this entire Olympiad are competing for the gold this weekend as well, and looking good while doing it. Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor are a dynamic 'Mutt-n-Jeff' team that lays waste to their competition the higher that competition level gets.
They were pushed yesterday by a suddenly strong Norwegian pair, and were down set-point a handful of times in the first set. But Walsh/May-Treanor never let up, and the golden gals pulled out a 24-22 victory. They went on to stomp the Norwegian gals in the 2nd set to advance on towards the medal round.
That win helped make Walsh's 30th birthday a happy affair. Kerry Walsh, the tall, slender blond of the pair, began her Olympic career back in 2000 at Sydney as a member of the USA women's indoor team that finished in 4th place.
For the 2004 games she moved outdoors to the beach with the then-Misty May, and the duo swept to the gold medal in Athens without losing a set, becoming the first American females to win the event. The pair entered these 2008 Olympics on a 101-match win streak, having won 18 straight tournaments. They are the favorites in Beijing and the defending world champions.
Misty May-Treanor, the shorter, athletic, fireplug of the team has been called arguably the greatest female beach volleyballer of all-time, having won 102 beach volleyball titles in her career, the most by anyone ever.
Her father was an Olympic volleyball team member in 1968, her mom played tennis at UCLA, and her cousin Taylor Dent was a pro tennis player and a member of the Athens US Olympic team, so Misty May comes to her athleticism through genealogy as well as hard work. All that, and she married Florida Marlins backup catcher Mark Treanor as well.
Some feminazis would blanch at references to the sexuality and attractiveness of women athletes like Torres, Walsh, and May-Treanor, but I could care less about their opinion of my opinions. Like the vast majority of American males, while I appreciate strong athletic performances from all of our fellow country-persons, a woman's physical attractiveness elevates the interest in her.
Darra Torres, Kerry Walsh, and Misty May-Treanor should elicit a great deal of such interest this coming weekend. This is one red-blooded American male who will be rooting hard for these three American beauties to bring home the gold, and look good while doing it.