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Some faulty o-rings; Olympic ruminations - Michael Davis

I've been sitting in a bar watching the Olympics the last few days, and taking down some observations.

While I'm sure we have some very talented people on our Olympic team, I'd like to know why absolutely none of our Olympic gymnasts, at least on the men's side, can stick a landing.

During the vault?you know, the one where the guy runs down a lane, jumps on a piece of spring-loaded plywood and hurdles himself in the air, twisting in all sorts of unnatural ways?all of our guys overshot the landing and very nearly fell on their faces.

Same goes for the parallel bars?where they swing around flip in the air and land on their biceps. Only one guy, that I saw, landed sure-footed.

It was different in the women's competition. Despite the way these teens and ?tweens are made up to look like sparkle-eyelided porcelain dolls, with tight, pinned back hair, most of them were able to land on their feet after impressive routines.

(Point of interest?why are the female gymnasts so heavily beautified before athletic competition? Who needs sparkling eye shadow and ruby red lipstick to do summersaults on a balance beam?)

I have had considerable qualms however about one swimmer, Michael Phelps, who despite his impressive standings in the water, has a crack down his back any plumber would be proud to call his own (no offense intended to plumbers and pipe-fitters).

Earth to Mike: Pull your pants up!

He looks like the thugs that hang out in parking lots and have to hold their pants up with their hands when they walk. The only difference, he isn't wearing any underwear to hide his shame.

I'm surprised his tights don't slip off in the water and make the Wide World of Sports' blooper real as the new "Agony of Defeat."

Do we all remember the ski-jumper that ate it on his way down, tumbling dramatically down the slope and falling pathetically off the edge?

Anyway, I haven't been totally unimpressed by the competition so far.

The U.S. Dream Team of professional basketball players got their clock cleaned by Puerto Rico. I was glad to see that, in what is supposed to be an amateur competition, the well-paid and overconfident pros, that for so long dominated Olympic basketball, took their first beating in 16 years from our up-and-coming Latino neighbors.

The only disappointment for me came when every one was asking what the Americans did wrong while very few, if any, asked what Puerto Rico did right.

Michael Davis covers government for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at mdavis@henryherald.com .