Today, the London Olympics got started and about 80,000 people at Olympic Stadium might agree.
Swimming, rowing, badminton, soccer, tennis etc. are nice elements to have as part of any major sports gathering. But to my way of thinking, track and field is the benchmark sport around any Summer Olympics.
Best athlete at each Olympics: Usually the person who wins the decathlon gets that nod. Think Jim Thorpe, Daley Thompson, Bruce Jenner etc.
Showpiece event: Usually the men’s 100-metre final. Jesse Owens, Bolt, Lewis, Bailey and yes even Ben Johnson.
In Beijing, the Americans believed, with some good reason, that Michael Phelps and his record-setting swimming gold medals were the toast of those Games.
NBC even convinced the IOC to switch the finals to morning so that its crowd could watch the finals in prime time.
They made no such request for Week 2 when Bolt and his Jamaican friends were front and centre … on the track, not in the pool.
And yes, that same pattern plays out again here in London. Nice warmup by Phelps and his merry friends.
But on centre stage now, ladies and gentlemen, is the sport they call athletics.