100 moments from Sydney
The flame has been extinguished and the flag folded
up, but the memories of the XXVII Olympiad will live
Here is a completely subjective list of 100 heroes,
zeroes, highs, lows, winners, losers, touching
moments, good lines, bad actors, anecdotes and any
other stuff that was left over after three weeks to
pad out this stupid list...
2. Bondi Beach's dress code.
3. Simon Whitfield's smile.
4. Waneek Horn-Miller's pride.
5. Anne Montminy's giggle.
6. Shredded bathing suits in waterpolo.
7. "LOOK RIGHT" painted on the street at
8. Still not knowing which way to look when crossing
9. Danish rowers.
10. Seeing the Olympic rings lit up on the Sydney
11. The lights playing on the roof of the Sydney Opera
12. An Australian newspaper spelling Diane
Jones-Konihowski as Dianne Smith-Honikowski.
13. Eric Moussambani's solo swim in the 100m heats at
the International Aquatic Centre. From Equatorial
Guinea, he gamely thrashed about while the crowd
cheered him on.
14. Spelling Pieter van den Hoogenband's name.
15. Pronouncing Pieter van den Hoogenband's name.
16. A cellphone going off and 25 people all digging
into their pockets to see if it's their's.
17. Mobile phone rings. We used to get all our
classical music training from Bugs Bunny. Now it comes
from the rings on cellphones.
18. Divers protecting the athletes from sharks in Farm
Cove during the triathlon swims.
19. Snakes on the mountain bike course.
20. A spider in the press centre at the pool. A big
21. Scalpers, who struggled to unload their tickets. A
$355 ticket for the men's 10m diving final could be
had for $70.
22. Canada going four days into the Games without a
drug controversy - a new record.
23. The job done by Canadian waterpolo goaltender
Josee Marsolais, the Patrick Roy of the waves.
24. Victoria Bitter beer.
25. Spending three weeks in a country and still not
being able to recognize the denomination of coins (at
least there are no pennies).
26. Derek Porter's tears. The Canadian sculler
apologized for not winning a medal. He needn't have.
27. The foghorn from the Senobe Canoe Club spurring
Echo Lake, N.S.'s Steve Giles to a bronze medal.
28. The follicly resplendent Romanian's women's eight
rowing team which prompted one journo to remark: "Good
to see they've got the playoff beards going."
29. The Dream. Hosted by Roy and H.G., the irreverent
late-night show became must-see TV at the Games.
30."Flat bag." Just one of Roy and H.G.'s expressions
for a male gymnast doing the splits.
31. "Hello, boys." Roy and H.G.'s term for a male
gymnast spinning on his back while doing the splits.
32. How, according to Roy and H.G., every athlete from
a former Eastern bloc country was a carpet or
33. "Tool tugging," Roy and H.G.'s term for what
happens underwater in the very physical men's
34. Fatso, the Fat-Arsed Wombat. The mascot for the TV
show The Dream became the cult hero of the Games and
was fetching bids of more than $85,000 in an internet
35. Any of the heavyweight weightlifters, who looked
36. Marion Jones, who had her run at five gold medals
halted after two.
37. C.J. Hunter, Jones' husband, who had his
credibility halted after one newspaper article accused
him of flunking a drug test.
38. The awkward minutes when the Olympic cauldron was
halted on its climb up a waterfall because of the
failure of a "10-cent gizmo."
39. Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman lighting the
40. Cathy Freeman lighting up Stadium Australia with
her win in the 400m.
41. The Hockeyroos, the Australian women's field
hockey team which was the female version of The Dream
42. The wackiest auction items: Chocolate moulds of
the hands and feet of Olympic athletes.
43. A marathoner complaining about all the partying
and sex in the village which was making it hard for
him to prepare for his event, always held on the last
day of the Games. Said the village mayor: "There is
not a lot of evidence of open bonkage that I can see."
44. The unluckiest crook at the Games. He stole the
accreditation of a gymnast and then used it to go to a
basketball game. He wound up sitting beside the
athlete whose pass he had stolen and was caught.
45. Aussie long jumper Jumpin' Jai Taurima who knew it
was time to stop celebrating his silver medal in the
pub next to the stadium when the plastic cup holding
one of many bourbon and cokes fell out of his hand at
46. The most dedicated volunteer. Kenneth Palmer, a
host driver for the Brazilian team, was buried in his
volunteer uniform when cancer claimed him during the
47. People with nothing better to do. Shoppers lined
for up to two hours just to get into the Olympic Super
Store in the Olympic Park.
48. A busy signal. There were reports Bulgarian
kayakers had tested positive for drugs during the
summer, but officials couldn't act because the
telephones for the Bulgarian anti-doping commission
were always busy.
49. The contrast of the gold medal-winning Canadian
men's 4x100 relay team of 1996 and the shambles in
which the team found itself this time around.
50. The Oarsome Foursome. Australia's coxless fours
have a great nickname.
51. The American 4x100 relay team posing and flexing after their win and doing nothing to endear Americans
to the rest of the world.
52. More rude behaviour: Italian waterpolo players
damaged pool-side furniture after a quarterfinal loss
to Hungary. Unlike certain U.S. hockey players, the
furniture smashers were caught.
53. Chinese diver Tian Liang knocking off the first
100-point plus dive in Olympic history, a back 3-1/2
54. British oarsman Steve Redgrave winning gold in
five straight Olympics.
55. German kayaker Birgit Fischer winning her sixth
gold medal at her fifth Olympic Games. The 38-year-old
mother of two might have had gold in six straight
games but for the East German boycott of the 1984
Games in Los Angeles.
56. Officials at the gymnastics setting the vault five
centimetres too low, sending a number of competitors
to nasty spills. Sorry, they said.
57. Athletes without their clothes on. You couldn't
swing a dead kangaroo without seeing Australian
polevaulter Tatiana Grigorieva without her duds on.
She's got a nude calender coming out. Talk about
setting the bar higher.
58. Lost in translation. "Cross your fingers" became
"hold your thumbs" when International Canoe Federation
president Ulrich Feldhoff was trying to get the racing
59. Lost in Translation II: "Play ball" became
"Prepare yourself for the commencement of the match."
60. The pole vaulter who kind of, y'know, nicked
himself on the top of his pole when he started falling
on the other side of the bar.
61. Blue Rodeo performing at The Moose Lodge, the
"Canadian" bar in Darling Harbour.
62. Blue Rodeo having to stop performing at The Moose
Lodge while the crowd, the majority of which was
Aussie, sang "Waltzing Matilida" after Australia won a
cycling gold on television.
63. Good little meat pies.
64. Big, bad hot dogs.
65. Breakaway chocolate bars. The staple of one
66. New sports that being with "T." They're good for
Canada. Four of our 14 medals came in the new sports
triathlon, trampoline and taekwondo. Tennis, too,
which is relatively new. Now if we can just get
tiddleywinks or tapdancing into the Games.
67. Volunteer uniforms. Talk was one volunteer turned
down $5,000 for his clothes. If you had seen what
these outfits look like, you'd know where the
expression a "a fool and his money are soon parted
68. A Fool, Part II: The asking price for one of the
shoes worn by 100m champ Maurice Green: $100,000.
69. NBC's Olympic ratings disaster. Good news for
Toronto's bid. If the network that paid $3.2 billion
US for the Games through 2008 has anything to say
about it, the 2008 Games won't be in China's time
70. A great line about NBC's tape delayed coverage.
David Letterman said he tuned in and "Jesse Owens was
pissing off Hitler."
71. Boomerang shopping.
72. The face of Australian race walker Jane Saville
after she was disqualified 150m from a gold medal.
73. The face of French sprinter Marie-Jose Perec
avoiding a showdown with Freeman as she bolted Sydney
claiming she was harrassed.
74. Perec's mistake. Turns out the media she thought
was harrassing her outside her digs were at a bus stop
for a media shuttle.
75. "Madamoiselle La Chicken," the headline in
Sydney's Daily Telegraph the day after Perec left.
76. Bulgarians. The weightlifter who lost his silver
medal because of a positive drug test smoked a
cigarette outside a McDonald's while they gave his
medal to a Chinese athlete 150 metres away.
77. Moths attracted to the lights of Stadium
Australia. Bug zappers would have overheated.
78. The heart of the Canadian men's basketball team.
79. One Sydney paper's prediction of 99 medals for
Australia. 80. They didn't miss it by too much. The
Aussies had 58.
81. Donovan Bailey's cold.
82. Bruny Surin's hamstring.
83. Glenroy Gilbert's frustration over those two
teammates' indifference to the 4x100 relay team.
84. Daniel Nestor, the worst guest around. He upset
Aussie Pat Rafter in singles. Then, with partner
Stephane Lareau, denied The Woodies doubles gold in
their swan song in front of their home crowd.
85. Maxime Boilard's finishing kick to take fourth in
the men's C-1 500m.
86. The medal-winning cyclist who was caught, um,
celebrating, with a young lady in a dark recess
outside the stadium an hour later.
87. Being in a country where the Canadian dollar is
worth more than their's.
88. American infielder Brent Abernathy. He won gold
before the games started, picking up $125,000 in a
poker game at a casino near their Gold Coast training
site. That's about $8.50 US.
89. Field hockey. Why don't they just get longer
90. "Lots of ore, but no gold." Headline in the Daily
Telegraph on Aussie rowers.
91. Police cars and taxis, which looked the same.
92. Sebastian Coe. The former sprinter threw his bags
in the backseat of a taxi and gave his hotel name. The
guy in the front seat turned around and said: "you
realize this is a police car." They took him to his
93. Aussie swimming hero Ian Thorpe being refused
access to the athletes village because someone had
forged his accreditation so his pass had been
canceled. He showed his two gold medals and was
94. The two Koreas marching into the stadium together
for the Opening Ceremonies.
95. Park to Kim to Park...The Aussie baseball team got
a scouting report on the South Koreans and were told
to watch out for these two guys Park and Kim. Trouble
is there were five Parks and four Kims on the roster.
96. More Korean stuff: a media guide, usually over the
top in praise, had this say about a baseball coach:
"His current team has the worst record in the league
and he is somewhat of a surprise choice to the
97. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy. It didn't take
too long for that chant to become a pain.
98. The "cossies" (bathings suits in Aussie lingo) at
99. The chant at beach volleyball: "Cossie, cossie,
cossie, off, off, off!
100. Trying kangaroo which prompted one scribe to say,
"Skippy is much better as a peanut butter than a main