If there's anything that makes me immensely patriotic, it's the way we Australians place our imprint on the world stage. It doesn't matter whether it's David Wenham being Faramir, Jimmy Little doing U2 covers, Steve Waugh snubbing GW Bush, or the Puppetry of the Penis simply existing. And then there's the Australian baseballers beating the Japanese Dream Team.
Erki Nool failed to retain his Olympic decathlon crown on Tuesday. That was expected. He did, however, go one better than Sydney in having two discus throws judged legal instead of just one. The Erki Nool fan website doesn't appear to have been updated since April 2003 in Estonian, or September 2001 in English. Decathlon2000 covers the Estonian and world decathlon scene quite well however, and is up to date.
They were wetting themselves on the Monday night edition of TVE's Telediario. Spain had won their first gold medal of Athens 2004. And where else could it be but in the gymnasium? It was Gervasio Deferr who won the men's vault to become only the 20th Spanish gold medal winner in summer olympics history (including 13 at Barcelona 1992).
The unexpected happened in the Olympic softball final on Monday. That's right, Australia scored a run! Pity the USA made five...
I watched the final live on SBS from about the 3rd innings onward. Team USA got on top very quickly and left the Aussies playing a forlorn game of catchup. Chrystl Bustos whacked a huge two-run homer in the top of the first, and before the inning was over, Lisa Fernandez scrambled home on a Melissa Carpadios error.
Sunday was the last day of the round-robin in the Olympic baseball competition. Stubby Clapp went 1 for 4 as Canada beat Australia 11-0. The semi-finals on Tuesday will be Japan v Australia (6.30pm Sydney time) and Cuba v Canada (2.30am Wednesday AEST). Here is the ONS report of day seven action:
Back in the days when the Olympic Spirit meant something, there was an adage that talked about it being more important to take part than to win. (Or, if you're Michael Phelps, it's more important to win than to take part.) The Olympic Spirit is alive and well in Timor Leste.
Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Deng Xiaoping. Comrade Deng was "a great proletarian revolutionary [and] statesman," President Hu Jintao told revellers at the Great Hall of the People, "a long-tested Communist fighter, the chief architect of China's socialist reform, opening-up and modernization drive".
The Dutch baseball team scored two runs against Australia on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, the Australians scored 22. This is a new Olympic high. At the middle of the first, Australia was leading 9-0. You know you want to read the play-by-play so here it is.