Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Memo to French: Awww…..Shut Up

Posted by redsatellite on August 11, 2008

Unbelievable. Last night’s 400 freestyle swim relay in the Olympics…was awesome. And yah, revenge is best served: COLD.

With history about to slip away and Michael Phelps cheering him on, Jason Lezak pulled up next to the lane rope and set out after hulking Alain Bernard, like a NASCAR driver drafting down the backstretch at Daytona.

Only 25 meters to go, half the length of the pool. Every stroke brought Lezak a little closer, a little closer, a little closer, his body seemingly carried along by the Frenchman’s massive wake. The two lunged for the wall together. When the result flashed on the board, Phelps was still on course for his record eight gold medals.

By a fingertip.

Mais oui!

And Alain Bernard had opened his big fat BOUCHE. So we shut it.

While the Americans whooped it up on deck, Bernard clung to the wall, his head down. The swimmer who had talked confidently of beating the Americans — “smashing” them, some media reported — was the last one to leave the pool.

Alain is wounded. When you are the last swimmer in a relay and that you have the opportunity to bring a title of this importance to your country, you don’t get out of this unhurt,” said Claude Fauquet, France’s team director. “But I don’t think that Alain lost the race. It’s Lezak who won it.”

Watching on deck, Phelps let out a resounding “Yeaaaaaah!” and thrust both arms toward the roof of the Water Cube. His quest to break Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals had survived what will likely be its toughest test — and almost certainly its most thrilling.

The Americans shattered the world record set by their “B” team the previous evening in the preliminaries, touching with a time of 3 minute, 8.24 seconds — nearly 4 full seconds below the 15-hour-old mark of 3:12.23.

That’s right.

OUR B team set the World Record the night before. OUR ‘A Team’ shattered it last night. And the French A team?…uh…they lose…AND they have no world record. It was THE MOST exciting swimming event I’ve ever witnessed.

Sweet.

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