Olympic Trash Talk

Last night, I stayed up way later than I should have, considering what time I had to get up in the morning. I stayed up for one main reason. Earlier in the day yesterday I heard that a member of the French 4×100 meter freestyle swimming team was trash talking the US team. He claimed they would smash the American team and said that is what they came here for. Outrageous! So with my American pride at full blast, I had to see this race go down and root for the French to be eating their words by the end. Personally, I really despise trash-talk, but I really love when the people who used it all of the sudden have nothing to say when they lose. It’s marvelous redemption.

So onto the pre-race commentary. One of our own NBC in-studio reporters repeatedly says, “I just keep adding all the times and it just keeps coming up with the French winning.” So the French have their own times from past performances on their side too. I guess they haven’t just been spewing these taunts without something to back it up.

A side effect of trash talking that most trash talkers seem to forget is that their opponents can use these words as motivation and gets them real fired up. In fact the US coach showed the newspaper article to the team for just that purpose. Now the race is set and everyone is anxiously awaiting this matchup. The US team went in with the phenom Michael Phelps to start things off and he fared well. As the race progressed, the US and French teams did separate themselves from the rest of the field and when the US’ weakest swimmer in the third leg took over the French also took a distinct lead in the race. It seemed like they would be right in their prediction. Our last US swimmer jumped in and held steady where he was on the lap up, and on about a quarter of the way back on the final stretch he started to gain ground. As the closed in on the finish he just steadily got closer and closer. Then in an eruption of excitement and cheers we find that he just barely beat the Frenchman to the finish. It was the very Frenchman responsible for the trash-talking. Our US swimmer swam the fastest leg in history to be able to win. Oh sweet redemption! The US celebrated while the French were speechless. The World Record was shattered. Sometimes that extra heart and motivation can make people superhuman and that’s what the team was last night.

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