Saturday, August 09, 2008

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Okay, okay.  We know the Olympics are supposed to be about international cooperation, rather than competition.  And we also know that nobody takes that seriously -- people root for their own country, at least as much as for the best athlete and far more than for an idealized vision of pure sportsmanship, whatever that means.

Since the only Olympic sport we at the Egg care about even remotely is fencing (and, in winter, the biathlon), this poses a bit of a problem.  Rooting for US fencers is a lot like being a Cubs fan.  Through most of Olympic history, no US fencer won much of anything until Peter Westbrook walked off with a bronze in the 1980s.

Yeah, well, that was then, baby.  The Curse of the Billy Goat has been broken, at least as far as fencing goes.  Mariel Zagunis, Sada Jacobson and Rebecca Ward may not be household names, but as far as we're concerned they are national heroes.  They just swept the Women's Sabre competition, respectively taking gold, silver and bronze, and putting the US (temporarily) ahead in the overall medal count.  More to the point:  they are the only Americans ever to sweep an Olympic fencing event.  Ever.

Courtesy of an emergency call from the splendid Mrs. A, Father Anonymous was able interrupt his sermon-writing and catch the last magnificent touch on television.  When an interviewer asked the girls how it felt, at the awards ceremony, to see three American flags unfurled side-by-side, Jacobsen burst into tears and said "It was the most beautiful sight in the world."

At least today, darling.

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