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Sports Then and Now



Tyson Gay is the Last Man Standing in 2010 12

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Rojo Grande

Tyson Gay stands alone as Bolt and Powell throw in the towel.

It was supposed to have been the climactic finale – the mouth-watering replay of 2009’s World Championship 100-meter dash in Berlin.

Yes, that race.

The one where Usain Bolt obliterated his own amazing 9.69 world record from Beijing, 2008.

The one where Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, the world’s next fastest sprinters ever, were sucked along in Bolt’s draft to post incredible yet inadequate times of their own (9.71 and 9.84).

The one which catapulted Bolt into stratospheric realms, beyond the reach of mere humanity.

But that was 2009 and this is 2010 – and since that race, a few million gallons of water has flowed under the bridge:

  • Later in 2009, Gay established a new American record (9.69) in Shanghai in a race he described as “not technically good”.
  • The 2010 season has been the quadrennial “down year” with no global championships, thus many athletes have used 2010 as a year to retreat from intensive training regimens to rest and heal.
  • The new Diamond League series of 14 international meets was launched, promising track and field fans multiple head-to-head showdowns. While there were several extremely talent-laden meets and exceptional performances, many of the elite match-ups failed to materialize because of the down year or debilitating injuries.
  • Gay beat Powell in Gateshead, beat Bolt in Stockholm, and established the season’s best time (9.78) in London.
  • Bolt and Powell have since shut down their seasons, citing lower back (some say spine) problems.

So now, instead of the Big Three getting together in Brussels this Friday in the final Diamond League meet (and that sumptuous re-match of 2009), only Gay remains to give fans a glimpse of the brilliance which might have been. Read the rest of this entry →

Caster Semenya: Has she met her Kryptonite? 4

Posted on July 19, 2010 by Rojo Grande

The damage had been done.

Whether through insensitivity, ignorance, or just plain incompetence, an athlete was victimized in one of sport’s most embarrassing atrocities.

South African 800-meter world champion Caster Semenya was publicly stripped (of her dignity), raped (of her privacy), and disemboweled (of her physiology) by medical experts, governing sports entities, and news media.

Semenya was effectively banned from competition after her stunning 2009 victory in Berlin’s World Championships. Her rapid week-to-week improvement and her impressive world-leading time in the finals (1:55.45) prompted an intrusive gender verification process which left no piece of the champion’s persona hidden.

During the eleven-month ordeal, the black cloud of suspicion and controversy which fell first on Semenya, suddenly moved to cast its shadow on the various governing powers whose charge it was to protect the athlete.

Still, the damage had been done.

But as it is said, “…every dark cloud has its silver lining.”

Yes, after an excruciating delay, Semenya was finally cleared by Track and Field’s governing body (IAAF) to compete as a woman. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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