2008 Summer Olympics: The Short Version – The Games in Rhyme

Are the Summer Olympics taking up too much of your time and digital recording space?  Want to get right to the nitty gritty?  Here are several sports in the 2008 Olympic games, all recapped in 17 words or less.  This is a work in progress; I’ll add more as I watch more Olympics.

2008 Summer Olympics in Verse
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

The big red dragon
From seclusion unfurled
Opening its gates
To embrace the world

Phelps swam eight times
Eight times won gold
The world in awe
Watched history unfold

Olympic gymnastics
A glorious scene
China was fantastic
But nowhere near sixteen

Nastia Liukin
Put to the test
As all-around gymnast
She proved she’s the best

A beaming smile
From balance beam‘s ace
Shawn Johnson nailed it
And took first place

Yelena of Russia
Loved by crowds
Broke another world record
Pole vaulting the clouds

Volleyball‘s queens
Won every heat
Walsh and Misty May
Unfamiliar with defeat

A Jamaican giant
With an appropriate name
Made racing look easy
And Bolted to fame

As baseball and softball
Faded from view
BMX racing
Made its debut

In Tae Kwon Do
A national disgrace
That guy from Cuba
Kicked a ref in the face

In ping pong and diving
Hardly a nation
Could compete with China’s
World domination

James DeGale
Fighter from Britain
The middleweight champ
Despite being bitten

Through ten tough sports
He fought his way
World’s Greatest Athlete:
Bryan Clay

Allstars and small stars
Played as a team
For basketball greatness
And took back the dream

Feeling creative? Add your own verses in the comments section.  To read more of my poetry, visit the Edie Montgomery-Pool poetry section of this blog.

Edit: 8/23/08 Added verse 4, re: Nastia Liukin
Edit: 8/23/08 Added verse 5, re: Shawn Johnson
Edit: 8/23/08 Added verse 8, re: Usain Bolt
Edit: 8/24/08 Added verse 1, re: China
Edit: 8/24/08 Added verse 10, re: Angel Valodia Matos
Edit: 8/24/08 Added verse 12, re: James DeGale
Edit: 8/25/08 Added verse 9, re: baseball, softball, bmx
Edit: 8/25/08 Added verse 13, re: decathlon
Edit: 8/25/08 Added verse 14, re: basketball
Edit: 8/26/08 Added verse 11, re: tabble tennis, diving

Edit: 8/26/08:  This Olympic poem is complete now.  I might tweak a few words here and there in the next few weeks, but I’ve now written about all the topics I wanted to include.  It’s a very old tradition to commemorate the Olympics in poem, dating back to B.C., so it’s my great honor to be a tiny part of that grand tradition. 


(You may reproduce this poem in part or whole, on or in a website, email, podcast, or broadcast; permission for electronic reproduction is granted on the provision that the website on which the poem is published is not a vanity publisher or a scam poetry contest which requires its “winners” to make a purchase or pay a fee before being published.  You may also reproduce this poem in print material for which net profits do not exceed $1,000.  Author name must be included in any reproductions, and author must be notified whenever this poem is, or parts of this poem are, used.  For all other uses not mentioned here, just ask and I will most likely say yes.) 🙂

8 Olympic Medal Categories I’m Taking it Upon Myself to Add

Olympic medals:  I’m handing my own out today, including Most Annoying Journalist Voice, Hottest Guy on the USA Swim Team, and Most Ridiculously Funny Summer Olympics Sport. Read on to find out who wins and who places.


1. Most Annoying Journalist Voice in the 2008 Summer Olympics

  • Olympic Gold — Whoever That Chick is Who Announces Synchronized Diving.  With a Nancy-Grace-like twang reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard, this Olympic announcer’s voice wins a gold medal for most irritating in the world. People are watching synchronized diving on mute because of her.
  • Olympic Silver — Alex Flanagan of CNBC.  This female Olympic journalist is beautiful, but she talks from the back of her throat. Possibly a close relative of Kermit the Frog; we’re running the DNA tests now.  
  • Olympic Bronze — Mary Carillo.  NBC Olympic correspondent, Mary Carillo, does those great, short segments on Chinese culture. Good journalist, terrible voice. It’s disconcerting to hear a man’s voice coming out of a woman’s body. I’m still a little startled by it every time I hear her speak, even though I’m expecting it now. 

2. Hottest Guy on the 2008 USA Olympic Swim Team

  • Olympic Gold — Matt Grevers.  In a surprise upset, Michael Phelps doesn’t get the gold this time. Instead, it goes to blonde 6’7″ cutie and real-life Olympic medalist, Matt Grevers, who won silver for the 100-meter backstroke.
  • Olympic Silver — Ben Wildman-Tobriner.  Biomechanical engineer, Stanford grad, and future doctor, USA Olympic swimmer Ben Wildman-Tobriner hasn’t won any Olympic medals in the pool, but he gets the silver from me on sheer good looks.
  • Olympic Bronze — Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.  In a tie for the bronze medal are Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Ryan Lochte is best known for his sense of humor, quirky personality, and individual fashion sense. Michael Phelps is best known for being Michael Phelps.

3. Most Fun 2008 Summer Olympic Athletes to Watch

  • Olympic Gold — Michael Phelps.  Whether he’s sliding into the top spot by 1/100th of a second or wildly cheering on his Olympic teammates, Olympic phenomenon Michael Phelps is not only a swimming machine, he’s also a sure crowd pleaser.
  • Olympic Silver — Misty May Treanor & Kerri Walsh.  The May Walsh Olympic volleyball team seems to be unstoppable. The impossible plays Misty May and Kerri Walsh make are exciting to watch, and their deep friendship is evident on the court, which makes them an even more likeable pair.
  • Olympic Bronze — Girls Chinese Olympic Team.  It’s apparent to anyone with eyes that most of the Chinese 2008 Womens Summer Olympics gymnastics team is not even close to the required competing age of 16. But two things they definitely are: cute and talented. If 12-year-olds can perform world class gymnastics like that (and obviously they can), then perhaps the minimum age to qualify for Olympic gymnastics should be lowered. Which doesn’t in any way excuse the Chinese government’s lack of integrity during the 2008 Olympic gymnastics event, but I did enjoy watching those little girls, and the girls themselves have a lot to be proud of.

4. Most Ridiculously Funny Summer Olympics Sport

  • Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze all go to — Speed Walking.  Also takes the gold for gayest sport ever. They’re getting rid of softball and keeping Olympic Speed Walking? Really??

5. Most Painfully Slow Summer Olympic Event to Watch

  • Olympic Gold — Waterpolo.  I put my tivo on the first speed, and it was still too slow.
  • Olympic Silver — Cycling.  Unless someone falls spectacularly like the Korean cyclist did during the126km race, watching people pedal puts me into a coma.
  • Olympic Bronze — Marathon.  Can be grueling for both the runner and the audience. Although seeing if the 2008 Olympic runners drop dead from the insane amount of pollution in China might add an extra element of excitement to the 2008 Olympic games.

6. Most Underrated Summer Olympics Sport

By far, the “field” part of track and field is one of the more interesting areas of Olympic sports, yet we see a lot of track getting coverage on television, and very little field. It’s a shame this part of sports isn’t given more air time. Here are some deserving yet short-changed sports that need more media attention:

  • Olympic Gold — Pole Vaulting.  The people who do this daring and dangerous sport are always a little bit crazy; they have to be. There are so many ways to get hurt in pole vaulting, a sport where you’re upside down and perpindicular to the ground at one point, with no mat beneath you, flinging yourself into the air on a bendy, breakable stick.
  • Olympic Silver — Javelin.  There’s something inspiring about a sport that was probably played at the very first Olympics. The Olympic Javelin throw also has that cool, barbaric, Spartan “300” thing going for it.
  • Olympic Bronze — Hammer Throw.  I’d be afraid to be in the live audience on this one, but the Olympic Hammer Throw is a fascinating sport to watch…from a distance.

7. Olympic Athlete Most Likely to Say “You Know” 100 or More Times During a 3-minute Interview

  • Olympic Gold — Michael Phelps.  Yet again, the gold goes to, you know, Michael Phelps.

And last but not least…

8. Best Blog Post About the Olympics

Did I forget anything? Award your own Olympic medals in the comments section.

If you liked this post, you might also like:  2008 Summer Olympics: The Short Version – The Games in Rhyme