Closing Ceremony

As Team USA wraps up a win in the medal count at the Beijing Games, we remember the many high points of the 29th Olympiad in China. No one will ever forget Michael Phelps and his incredible achievement of eight gold medals in a single Olympiad. Phelps will carry more gold medals into the closing ceremonies than more than half of the countries that participated in the Olympics.


Regardless if you knew the difference between a balance beam and the makeup of the floor exercise, most of us will remember Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Both American stars proved why the U.S. team won the most medals with gymnasts over the age of 10. Here’s hoping the IOC of FIG or another other governing body of sport can overrule the gold medal to the Chinese National Team.


The United States “Redeem Team” looks like a collection of golden gods as they continue to roll over every country through the semifinal round. Winning every game by at least 20 points, Team USA got it right this time. These games count. They matter. Let’s show the rest of the world why we are the best in this sport.


And then there’s volleyball.


Away from the new craze of beach volleyball and the dominance of both men’s and women’s American teams on the sand, you’ll find another pair of teams that lost much more than a match.


A day after the Opening Ceremony in Beijing, Todd Bachman was murdered at a tourist attraction in China. Bachman was the father-in-law of men’s indoor volleyball head coach Hugh McCutcheon. Teams either go one of two ways after a tragedy happens. They give every ounce of effort to succeed or fall apart, fizzle and play with their minds elsewhere.


Team USA succeeded.


Winning all seven matches in China, the Americans will face a tough Brazil team in the Gold Medal Match on Sunday. As of Friday afternoon, NBC only plans to show this match with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday evening at 7:00.


Nobody expected this team (along with the women’s volleyball team) to compete for gold in Beijing.


Nobody saw the disgusting act that inspired a team to come together to form a bond that no opponent can break.


Nobody should miss this match.


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