It was one of those magical events. One of those Olympic moments where the result simply shocks, where the brain screams, that the eyes simply cannot believe what they just saw.
Now, it’s my ears that can’t believe what they are hearing.
Sunday night’s mens 400 relay swimming final was one of the greatest Olympic swim races of all time, that is if you happen to be an American. Jason Lezak, the 32-year-old anchor leg of the U.S. team, staged a massive comeback and overtook France’s Alain Bernard at the wall, winning the gold medal for the Americans.
Too bad Lezak’s feat isn’t what’s being celebrated in the media.
That would be the fact that Lezak merely helped to keep teammate and U.S. swimming’s golden boy Michael Phelp’s quest alive for an Olympic-record eight gold medals.
From the media coverage, you’d think Phelps swam all four legs of the race rather than just the first.
Take a look at a few headlines from newspapers across the country:
“Michael Phelps wins 2nd gold medal.”
“Jason Lezak keeps Michael Phelps’ hopes alive.”
At least the second headline even mentions Lezak. ESPN.com, on the other hand, simply stated that “Michael Phelps quest is still alive.”
It’s fantastic that Phelps still has a shot at a prestigious record and a page in the history books. But Sunday’s race was another one for the books. Phelps was only a part of that race, as were Lezak and fellow teammates Garrett Weber-Gale and Cullen Jones.
Each was no more a part of the victory than the other, minus perhaps Lezak, seeing how the team would not have won without his herculean effort in the anchor. Phelps didn’t win that gold medal by himself, but that’s not what Sportscenter seems to think.
We say the Chinese government censors their people; over here in America, we just handle that ourselves.