NY Times: Unforgiving Nature of Games Personified by Hansen. A nice feature on Brendan Hansen, a local Olympian who failed in his attempt for an individual medal in the 100m breaststroke last night. It also includes mentions of one of my favorite places in the world – Karakung Swim Club. Hansen makes a good point in reflecting on his career:
“In the United States, we raise the bar so high on ourselves,” Hansen said. Then, referring to Michael Phelps, he added, “Now to even be noticed, you’ve got to win eight gold medals… You don’t know how hard it is to get on the blocks and do what he’s doing.”
Hansen’s Olympic career is typically viewed as a disappointment, because he could never win an individual gold. However with 3 medals in Athens (gold, silver, and bronze), he was one of the top 20 medalists in those games. Back then I was cynical about Hansen and Phelps, taking a little pleasure when they both failed to reach their lofty expectations. This time around though I’m really into it – I was throwing things when Hansen lost and I was jumping up and down when Phelps’ 4×100 relay won. It’s been a great Olympics so far, hope it keeps up.