Jason Lezak: Olympic Stud of the Day
Sunday’s coverage of the Olympics brought multiple contenders for Stud of the Day, as usual. Would it be U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin, who fell on her dismount from the bars but had a routine that badass that she still made it into the individual finals of the event? Or maybe Bob Costas, who grilled President Bush about America’s relationship with China, then asked him if he was going to any more events before he left Beijing: “I’m going to swimming here, if you’d ever let me off this set…” the president joked. “You are dismissed,” Costas said. (How many congratulatory text messages do you think Costas received after uttering that sentence?)
Of course, neither Liukin nor Costas could compete with Jason Lezak, who swam the fastest split in 4X100M freestyle relay history to keep Michael Phelps’ hope of winning eight gold medals at the games alive. (Pictured left to right are Cullen Jones, Lezak, Phelps, and Garrett Weber-Gale.) I just watched the race, a new world record, for the fifth time and got chills as Lezak, the U.S. anchor, chased down France’s Alain Bernard in the final seconds. Bernard, you’ll recall, is the Frenchman who’d been quoted as saying, “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.” (If anyone’s interested in quoting me watching that race live on my couch, I actually yelled “USA!” in a moment of intense patriotism. Then I screamed something like “Suck it!” in a moment of extreme unsportsmanlike conduct.*)
Nominate your own Olympic Stud of the Day** — or second ours — below. (And click here to check out our winning Studs from the previous two days in Beijing.)
* To make up for that, I will point out that Bernard finished first in NBCOlympics.com’s Ab Fab: Guess the Swimmer gallery.
** Not just a man or woman who turns us on. (Necessarily.)
addCredit(“U.S. relay team: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images”)