Mizzou at the Olympics

As I alluded to a couple days ago, Mizzou has two athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics: Christian Cantwell and Ben Askren.

A few days ago, Cantwell took the silver medal in the shot put, with a throw of 21.09 meters. After a shocking failure to qualify for the games in Athens four years ago, Cantwell vowed to win gold this time around in Beijing. Several news stories from the local paper in Columbia have him quoted as saying he wouldn’t be happy with a silver or bronze. After seeing him take the silver, he went too his coach and grabbed the American flag and had quite a smile pasted on his face. I’d say he was pretty happy with the silver.

It was just reported on the news that The Diner down on Broadway has a 21.09 meter silver ribbon that fans can come and sign. Maybe I’ll go do that tomorrow after work.

Ben Askren was another first time Olympian, but he was no stranger to high level competition. At Mizzou, Askren became the first Tiger Wrestler to be a National Champion and he did it in back to back years. His senior year, Askren went undefeated and won his second straight Dan Hodge Trophy as the best collegiate wrestler. Askren’s Olympics started with a pin against István Veréb of Hungary. In his round of 16 match, Askren was pitted against Cuba’s Ivan Fundora, the bronze medalist from Athens. Fundora’s experience showed as he beat Askren 3-1 and 4-0. Defending gold medalist Buvaisar Saitiev then defeated Fundora, ending Askren’s hopes at a bronze medal.

In the end, it didn’t actually matter to me how they finished. I really just wanted them to represent the USA and the University of Missouri well. Cliche, I know, but after seeing Usain Bolt’s antics while blowing away the field and after reading about Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian’s antics on the medal stand, I didn’t want any sort of similar performance. I was never worried, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Both Ben and Christian made the University of Missouri very proud in their respective events.


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