You are hereBlogs / WcP.Story.Teller's blog / Countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - athletes to watch, each with a story of their own

Countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - athletes to watch, each with a story of their own

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 05 August 2008

Dara Torres, United States - Swimming

Among those featured in Time special issue "100 Olympic Athletes To Watch":


Dara Torres (United States) - 41, nine-time Olympic medallist in swimming and mother of a two-year old who has qualified for her fifth Olympic Games, something no other swimmer has ever done. The time in the 100m freestyle that got her a ticket to Beijing was 2.47 seconds faster than her Olympic effort in 1988, at age 21 - a lifetime in such a short race.

Liu Xiang, China - Hurdles

Liu Xiang (China) – 25. When Liu Xiang claimed victory in the 110-m hurdles in Athens, delivering China its first ever sprint gold, you could almost sense the alarm in the announcers' voices. Few had heard of this mystery athlete, much less knew how to pronounce his given name. What a difference four years make. In Beijing, Liu, 25, along with basketball star Yao Ming, will be the poster boy for China's mighty Olympic squad. His name (pronounced Sheeahng) means "to soar" in Chinese.

Usain Bolt, Jamaica - Sprints

Usain Bolt (Jamaica) – 21, the world's fastest man, nicknamed "The Lightning Bolt." This tall (6ft. 5in.), precocious Jamaican sprinter is a ray of hope for a sport whose unrelenting doping scandals have won it the same derision heaped on baseball and cycling. On May 31, at a meet in New York City, Bolt barreled to a100m world record of 9.72 seconds. Bolt is untainted by doping suspicion and has even sworn off legal partying (he loves to dance at his Aunt Lilly's reggae bar near his hometown, Trelawny) to prepare for Beijing.

Sheila Taormina, United States - Modern Pentathlon

Sheila Taormina (United States) – 39, the first woman to qualify for the Olympics in three sports, has struggled with depression as she wondered why she was still chasing the Olympics in her late 30s. She's had to fend off a stalker, who went to prison for five years but was released earlier this year (he has steered clear). And she fought, and won, a spot on the modern pentathlon team, even though she had never fired a gun, picked up an épee, or ridden more horse than a kiddie-ride pony before starting the sport three years ago (modern pentathlon combines swimming, running, fencing, shooting, and equestrian).

Yao Ming, China - Basketball

Yao Ming (China) – 27. When the NBA's Houston Rockets first sought permission from China's sports authorities to sign Yao Ming, 7-ft. 6-in, to play in the NBA, there was one term that was nonnegotiable: Yao would play for China's Olympic team, no matter what. He would lead the national team in Beijing in 2008. On Aug. 10, Yao will lead Team China in its first game — against the U.S.

Marta Vieira da Silva, Brazil - Soccer

Marta Vieira da Silva (Brazil) – 22, or just Marta, a single moniker being the mark of Brazil's great footballers. She is also known as Pelé in a skirt. The daughter of a poor family from the scrublands of Brazil's northeast, Marta had to force her brothers and his friends to even let her play the game. Once she made their team, the quick-footed striker was never off it. She signed with Swedish club Umea IK in 2004 and was soon helping Brazil challenge the U.S. and Germany's dominance in women's soccer. FIFA Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007, Marta has a lot to prove in Beijing.

Nader al Masri, Palestine - Long Distance Running

Nader al Masri (Palestine) – 28. Nader al Masri learned the hard way how to pour on the speed: living in the embattled Palestinian enclave of Gaza, he's used to sprinting away from whizzing bullets and Israeli missiles. For 10 years, al Masri has trained for the 5,000m race in the Olympics. Every morning, he would lace up his tattered running shoes and lope off along bomb-cratered roads as kids shouted "Run, Nader, Run!"

Ryoko Tani, Japan - Judo

Ryoko Tani (Japan) – 27, won consecutive Olympic golds in Sydney and in Athens, a first for a judo wrestler, and she's looking to take her third as a new mom. Nicknamed "Yawara-chan" after the character in a well-known judo manga. A judoka with seven world titles, Tani nearly missed qualifying for the Beijing team having given birth just a few months before national qualifiers.

Marianne Vos, Netherlands - Cycling

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) – 21, has won virtually all the Dutch, European and world prizes available to road, cross and track cyclists — except an Olympic medal. A prodigy who started racing at five years old, she would later cycle 24km each way to school as her daily warm-up before training. In her first season as a senior racer, at age 18, Vos became the youngest ever world cyclo-cross champion, adding the world road title shortly after. Effectively self-coached, the unassuming 21-year-old is still studying biomedical science and says she sees cycling as "a big hobby."

Mark, Diana, and Steven Lopez, United States - Taekwondo

Mark, Diana, and Steven Lopez (United States) - 26, 24, 29. Three siblings from suburban Houston who tried out taekwondo because their father was a fan of kung-fu movies, the second set of three sibling to make the Summer Games in the same sport — and the first since 1904, when three American brothers competed in gymnastics. Steven, already a gold medalist in the last two Olympics, is the straight arrow; middle child Mark, surprise, is the hyperactive one who likes attention. "I feel like a superstar," he recently said. Kid sis Diana is relatively shy. Their coach is older brother Jean. Just three years ago, they each won world titles.


Photos courtesy of Justin Stephens, Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty, Adrees Latif/AFP/Getty, Roger Celestin/AFP/Getty, Shaun Boterill/Getty, Paulo Fridman/Corbis, Mohammed Salem/Reuters/Landov, Dirk Waem/AFP/Getty, Matthew Stockman/Getty, Joel Saget/AFP/Getty

Original Source: Time

I have always respected sports people and their dedication to their passion. It is not easy, and there are many obstacles along the way that each had to overcome. Olympics is not just a celebration of greatness, it is also a celebration of people’s dedication to pursuing their passion.

Only day left until Beijing 2008 Olympic games opening ceremony starts on August 8th, 8:08:08 p.m. Wherever I go, all I see, listen to, and read is about the countdown date: ONE day left until this thrilling day. It seems everyone is prepared in Beijing. I don't listen to people complain about the inconveniences like I did a few days ago.

Dear Lopez Family,
You know how much we all miss and love you here in Sugar Land. You guys are truly the greatest in our eyes. Know that our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with you all.

Who are the athletes to catch in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games? The question is answered by this online article very well. Touching on each athlete the article lists the background and the achievement of each athlete.

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed


WcP Blog on Twitter


WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search

Archive Calendar

March 2018

Random image

LuCxeed Photography: Girl of Sense and Ideas Like a Star on Dais


Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"Conscience is a man's compass."
- Vincent van Gogh

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience."
- George Washington

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • " is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.