Barely a day after cocky French swimmer Alain Bernard declared his intention to “smash” the American rely team in the men’s 4x100m Free Relay, Michael Phelps and company set the Frenchies straight with a record-breaking gold medal performance in the event.
As with the Latvian giant-killers the day before, this was a match for the ages, folks. The American’s and the French were neck in neck most of the relay, but in the last few seconds, 32-year-old Jason Lezak kicked it up a notch and managed to beat the former world-record holder — Bernard, who was swimming in the lane next to him — to the punch by 0.08 seconds. Insanity!
The look on Bernard’s face was priceless. And even with a silver medal spot on the podium for him and his team, that “smash” quote is gonna haunt his ass for a while. But the looks on the American team’s faces were just plain awesome.
Not only did they win the gold — Phelp’s second of a hoped-for eight at the Beijing games! — but the American Free Relay team also beat the world record by 1.30 seconds. Ha-ha…”smash” that, Frenchie!
Oh, and um…just for the record, I love French stuff, you know, movies, wine, bread, whatever. I don’t endorse “freedom fries” and any of that shit, but man, I could not have scripted a better comeuppance for that Alain Bernard punk. And you know what’s even cooler…?
At the medal ceremony, Phelps actually stepped off his gold medal perch beside his teammates and went over to shake the French team’s hands. A cool, classy move by a rock star swimmer who knows the true meaning of good sportsmanship, and yet another classic Olympic moment…