Script Perfect

Tony Ervin wins gold at age 35, 16 years after the first one… Also – Maya Dirado is the old school throw-back as the ultimate ‘amateur’ champion; Katie Ledecky is the greatest athlete in all of Rio; and Bolles Nation rules again, with Joseph Schooling’s gold for Singapore over a trio of legends in the 100 fly… Notes on an all-time night of Olympic swimming… 

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“The Truth Remains That No One Wants to Know”

On the loss of Olympic faith… 

I was driving north up the New York thruway yesterday, glad to be a million miles from Rio, wishing I could be more excited by the many inspiring performances down there, when an old Kris Kristofferson song came on called “To Beat the Devil.” How apt, thought I, immersed as I’ve been with some particular devilish battles of late. Turned it up, let him lay it on me.

The truth remains that no one wants to know… 

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Mack Drives in the Knife

On the first night of swimming in Rio, Aussie Mack Horton out-touched China’s Sun Yang for gold in the 400 free… He also did something that few athletes have the courage to do these days: He called his competitor a “drug cheat” and questioned why “athletes who have tested positive are still competing”… A good question. Why aren’t more athletes stepping up, stating the same, and showing the courage of their convictions? 

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The Ghosts of Dying Flyers

The 200 fly is one of those races… It sets up for heartbreak. The last 50 is frequently cruel and ugly, as veterans fall apart in the closing meters and are passed by charging young upstarts… Last night in Omaha the old guys were dying, but this time they held on… 

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Ringside Inspiration

In 2012, at age 11, he was a walleyed spectator. Four years later, at 15, he’s a participant. A few weeks ago he dropped a 1:03.62 in the men’s 100 breaststroke at a meet at MIT, seven one-hundredths inside the qualifying standard. He’ll be one of the youngest guys at the meet, and his eyes have gone from wide to narrow with intent. He won’t be in the mix this time, but he’ll be taking notes. He intends to be under the bright lights four years from now, and in eight years too.

His name is Dillon Hillis, of the Manhattan Makos, and he’s not alone.

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