Happy Saturday everyone… we hope all are enjoying it wherever you may be, whatever the scenery or time zone!
First, a quick look at what is to come on your newsstand:
And this is before the man has even taken part in the final race, the one determining if he receives a record-shattering, unheard of 8th Gold Medal. The cover above follows this SI cover of July 28, 2008 previewing the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The story on Michael Phelps by Susan Casey is outstanding, well worth your time if you haven’t already seen it and want to learn more about Mr. Phelps, Team USA, and Coach Bob Bowman. Additionally there are more than 50 of Simon Bruty’s great photos from his photo shoot that you can view.
Out of curiosity we asked one of the Footmen lolling about the Palace to do a quick search at eBay, the online auction site, to see what turned up for the search term “Michael Phelps.” We were somewhat surprised to learn there were only 1601 items listed as of this writing at 8pm EDT on Saturday evening. There are lots of photos (many allegedly autographed), ‘Phelps Phans’ tee-shirts, and other things, like this curiosity, described thusly in its title:
2004 ROOTS USA Olympic Michael Phelps BERET USA hat
Of course we recognize the hat, we were quite fond of it when Roots originally created it for the US Team. But from the auction title we initially thought it had personally belonged to the swimmer. Read on for more of the description about the hat being sold on eBay:
NEW WITH TAGS 2004 Roots Beret from the Olympics that Michael Phelps broke out!!!
Oddly enough, The Princess is unclear about what, if anything, this hat has to do with Mr. Phelps….? Other than it was, as the auction says, “…made and officially licensed by Roots… this is the U.S. Olympic cap worn by USA Athletes during the Opening Ceremony in Athens.” Hhhmmm, we are confused. We don’t understand the connection. Of course, we cast no aspersions upon the item being sold on eBay or the individual selling it, we are simply perplexed.
If you are desperately seeking a Phelps Phan shirt, they are available at CafePress for $19.99, which seems quite reasonable. They come in Men’s, Women’s and Junior sizes, as well as different colors, cuts and even a few in organic cotton.
We move on to something else a long time coming…
The happiness on Roger Federer’s face upon finally realizing a dream was almost childlike, as opposed to jaded and cynical as it might have been. It wasn’t all that he hoped for, but it was still Gold and at that moment, in that venue, it was clearly more than enough for him.
To recap in a more respectable fashion, Roger Federer, left, and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat Sweden’s Thomas Johansson and Simon Aspelin 6-3 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 at these Beijing 2008 Olympics. But wait… that’s not all: Team USA’s Bryan Boys also managed a medal, a Bronze after their victory over Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra of France. They were fairly pleased by that outcome.
Tomorrow, it’s Rafael Nadal taking on Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez for the Gold Medal in Men’s Singles. Did you know Mr. Gonzalez carried the flag for his country in the Opening Ceremony? And that in the Athens Games he won a Bronze medal in Singles and a Gold in Men’s Doubles? TP must admit she had not remembered all of that.
How did Rafa spend part of his day? Watching his previously unbeaten countrymen get bested by the USA Men’s Basketball team 119-82.
How are people looking at the match? Peter Bodos at Tennis World writes:
I’m not giving away the store when I say that Fernando Gonzalez is as tough a gold-medal opponent as Rafael Nadal could have drawn.
Whatever anyone else is thinking, the 22-year-old Spaniard is excited to be playing for Gold:
“It’s a dream to be in this final. When I arrived here, I didn’t expect to be in this final”
As for Gonzalez?
“I am at my best. Nadal is currently the best player, but I am playing well too, this is my best time. I am ready to do what I have to do…”
First serve is at 4am EDT. The Princess is not sure she will be watching this one live. BTW, TP must ask if she’s the only person in the galaxy unaware of an Olympic event called Trampoline?
Well, we must run… we’re off to watch a little more swimming!