Olympics: The thrill of victory is thrilling to watch

Like many of you, I’ve enjoyed watching the Olympics from Beijing. Who couldn’t get caught up with watching the wonder of Michael Phelps, with the help of his teammates and supportive mom, win eight gold medals?

What’s even more remarkable is that Phelps doesn’t appear to be particularly “full” of himself. He remains a down-to-earth athlete with exceptional skills who still seems grounded in the real world. That’s a rarity. He deserves whatever comes his way.

That, of course, is in contrast to the wrestler who threw his bronze medal to the ground at the awards ceremony in disgust. Rightly, he was stripped of the medal.

Anyway, we can all enjoy the accomplishments of young people (and a few old ones, too) who have committed their lives to doing their personal best on the athletic fields.

I’ve been a fan of the Olympics for a long time. I don’t have a real sense of the Games in 1960, but I do remember watching on TV the winter games from Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964. Back then, I was just glad to see the images. I wasn’t too concerned about their age.

In two years, the Winter Olympics come to Vancouver, B.C., right in our backyard. And, more importantly, right in the same time zone. Let’s see if NBC does a better job of airing those games on the West Coast in real time.

That reminds me, school is about to start. Another chance to cheer our young athletes to do their personal bests.

• I wanted to share, too, something else my family did last weekend. The Radford family held its reunion at what’s appropriately called Heritage Park in the Highlands. What a wonderful setting, with plenty to do for the youngest in the crowd (not too many these days, at least right now) on up to those who can use a little exercise. I’ll admit I didn’t take part.

I shared a story with my brother Bill, who WAS the basketball star at Foster High School in Tukwila and then at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Somehow, the story got started at that bastion of community lore, Jet City Espresso, that I was a basketball player. Nothing is further from the truth. (I will admit I was editor of the student newspaper, The Growler. But that feat usually doesn’t get much press.)

Just wanted to set that record straight.

Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at dean.radford@rentonreporter.com.