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Scarvey column: Beijing moments we won’t forget

One of the great things about the Olympics is that it gives us something to talk about. First, there was Michael Phelps. You may have heard him mentioned once or twice.
To hear the superlatives thrown around, you’d have thought he stepped down from Mount Olympus to grace us mere mortals with his 30-foot wingspan.
But then along came a crazy, cocky Jamaican sprinter named Usain Bolt to remind us that some amazing feats can also occur on dry land.
The Lightning Bolt set two world records, smashing a 12-year-old 200-meter record that many felt would stand indefinitely ó and he did it while running into a headwind and text messaging Lindsay Lohan at the same time.
OK, the text messaging bit isn’t true, but he definitely made those races look easy.
Did I mention that he won the 200 after a meal of chicken nuggets? Just imagine how he’d have done if he’d eaten actual food.
Bolt’s 200-meter race gave us other good stuff to talk about.
The Salisbury Post newsroom was atwitter to learn that sprinter Shawn Crawford is the cousin of our own Shavonne Potts.
Crawford won a silver medal in that race in a series of events so unfortunate even Lemony Snicket would find them implausible.
Shortly after the race, third-place sprinter Wallace Spearmon of the U.S. was disqualified for stepping out of his lane, theoretically shortening the distance he ran. Unhappy about this turn of events, the U.S. coaches then charged that the second-place runner from the Netherlands Antilles had also stepped on the lane line, theoretically impeding another runner.
That they were correct did not wash a funny taste ó sort of grapy and sour ó out of everyone’s mouths, especially since taking the silver medal away from the Netherlands Antilles runner left that tiny country with exactly … no medals.
So Crawford was elevated to silver status and Dix, looking shell shocked, was told he’d get the bronze.
Neither U.S. runner was happy to medal this way. Walking away with his overjoyed agent, the cameras caught Dix murmuring, “Well, I still lost.”
Yes, but we love you for your attitude.
One of the oddest moments in Beijing came when U.S. beach volleyball star Misty May-Treanor ó how to put this politely ó presented her backside to George Bush while saying, “Mr. President, want to?”She was, in effect, inviting him to engage in one of the women’s beach volleyball traditions so beloved by red-blooded males everywhere: the butt pat. (The only tradition more enthusiastically watched by men is the sweaty full-frontal horizontal embrace on the sand after the match.)
The president looked as though he’d been asked a trick question. It must have been a tough position for the jokester-in-chief, who doesn’t exactly have a track record of decorous behavior. This is the guy, after all, who infamously tried to give the German chancellor a neck massage. He dodged a minefield this time though, and gave May-Treanor a chaste little pat on the back.
That deserves a high five, Mr. President. Contact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or kscarvey@salisburypost.com.

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