Going for the Gold: Reflecting on the top Olympic moments of my lifetime after its postponement

first_imgWho would’ve thought that the United States, let alone the entire world, would be where it is now? What was only a blip on many Americans’ radars a month ago is now the largest pandemic in recent history, halting school, work and the topic of my column, the Olympics.  Since North and South Korea split in 1948, the animosity between the two nations and horrific ramification of the split have been well documented. For 70 years, the North and South traded threats and assassination attempts while simultaneously trying to emerge from extreme poverty.  Rewatching both countries march into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium together gave me a sense of hope this past week, and given the times we live in now, it was greatly needed.  However, for one fleeting moment, this changed when the North and South Korean teams marched together waving a Korean unification flag at the 2000 Summer Olympics. The two teams still competed separately, but the move represented a gesture for unity and peace that Koreans had not seen for over half a century.  In what would be the beginning of one of the most successful eras for any Olympic athlete, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt came into the Beijing 2008 Olympics with hopes of establishing himself as the fastest man in the world. And in fact, he did just that, winning three gold medals in the process and breaking the world record in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay. Take that all in for a second.   North and South Korea march together — several times Michael Phelps finishes his star-studded career at Rio 2016  Bolt ended his career with eight gold medals and swept through the competition again at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His performance in 2008 introduced him to the world and brought track and field a level of attention it hadn’t seen in a long time.  There is never a dull moment when watching Michael Phelps. Phelps entered the 2016 Summer Olympics after having competed in every iteration of the games since 2000 — when he was only 15 — winning 22 Olympic medals and shattering dozens of world records in the process.  I, like many of you, felt considerably dejected when I heard the news that the 2020 Summer Olympics would be officially postponed. Though it was the right decision, I can’t help but feel a sense of longing for one of my favorite sporting events in the world. What sticks out to me even more about Bolt’s 100-meter run is that it was one of the first sporting events I ever watched. Before the 2008 Olympics, I didn’t care much about sports, but my dad insisted that I watch the race. I distinctly remember Bolt crossing the finish line and feeling a rush of excitement I had never felt before. I was too young to witness this moment, but I have seen its follow-up acts. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the North and South marched together again, bringing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program to a temporary simmer.  Usain Bolt dominates at Beijing 2008  Nathan Hyun is a sophomore writing about the 2020 Olympics. His column, “Going for Gold,” typically runs every other Wednesday. This is the only event on the list that isn’t a jaw-dropping athletic feat, but it’s here for good reason.  So, in the interest of providing some much needed nostalgic relief, here are my personal top three Olympic moments from my lifetime.  As someone of Korean descent, I found this moment especially moving. I finally could begin to relate to my great-grandmother, who used to tell me stories about escaping North Korea during the Korean War. I could finally see how powerful and meaningful the prospect of unification was.  Phelps qualified for six events and ended up with five gold medals as a 31-year-old in 2016. This surprised absolutely no one, but the near-superhuman performance Phelps put forth, showing zero sign of physical regression after nearly two decades of competition, was a feat that won’t likely be seen again for a long time. last_img read more


Sherwood insists he will NOT stand in Aston Villa striker’s way amid Liverpool rumours

first_img1 Christian Benteke in action for Aston Villa Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood insists he will NOT stand in Christian Benteke’s way should the striker want a summer move away from Villa Park.The Belgian is likely to be a transfer target for big clubs in the coming months, with Liverpool the latest to be linked after his run of nine goals in eight games.Sherwood has no intention of selling the big Belgian but concedes if Benteke wanted to go and the money was right, he would be allowed to leave.He said: “I haven’t heard anything about that, but it’s good news that people are talking about Christian again because he’s scoring goals and if he’s scoring goals for us, we’re happy.“I’ve no idea what he’d cost, because I don’t want to sell him. It would have to be a lot of money for anyone to take him from us.“He’d be too expensive for a great deal of clubs in the Premier League. But we’re not looking to sell our assets and he’s certainly one of those.“If a player doesn’t want to play for the club anymore and the club he wants to go to meet the valuation then I think it’s always best to let them go.”The former Tottenham boss added: “It would be about the market value of what’s out there but I have no intention of selling Christian.“He’s enjoying his football and I saw some positive things said by his agent, saying he had not talked to other clubs or seen any interest from other clubs and that Aston Villa were playing the best football out of any team in the league. I think he was spot on there.”last_img read more