At times I wonder if all these songs are just for PR or even propaganda, but one thing is that anything that encourages friendship, especially across linguistic and ethnic barriers, is a great thing and something our world needs so much.
China is leading the medals table, and while I don't know whether it will still be at the end of next week, it all goes to show that China has emerged as a big and powerful nation, with its people ready to mightily influence the whole world whether for good or not so good. So I am glad that I made that effort to learn the language many years ago, starting at the time when the "Gang of Four" in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution was perhaps the main event of the time. Who could foresee then that a modern and increasingly prosperous Beijing would host what may be one of the best Olympic Games in history? I certainly did not, although I did foresee the people having a lot more hope and purpose in life than they did then.
So, Michael Phelps got his 7th gold medal, winning by 1/100th of a second. Unbelievable, but at least the slow-motion action replay was there to prove it. Rebecca Adlington of the U.K.'s victory and world record in the 800m freestyle was really impressive. There has been so much that has been so great watching and so inspiring. It has certainly helped me focus on my own goals.
Well, as I mentioned before, I will try to have my "Swim Camp" next week. What this means is that I will try to go to the pool three afternoons next week in addition to my usual six mornings. In the afternoons, I want to have a shorter workout and focus on some speedwork, but also perhaps some "slow" things like experimenting with other strokes (trying to learn the mechanics of them) or just spending some time at the pool relaxing. At the end of all of that, maybe the following week, I want to have a crack of breaking 3 minutes on a 200 meter swim. My best so far (a little over one week ago) is 3m 04s. This morning I went 3m 07s but I felt pretty strong on it, meaning that with a bit more speedwork, I could have pushed the pace a bit more.
This week I continued swimming each morning, and after a total of 4,400m on Tuesday and 4,600m on Wednesday, I did 4,600m Thursday, 4,300m Friday and 4,300m on Saturday, or a total of 22,200 meters in five days. Tomorrow morning (Sunday), I will have my last swim for the week. Of course it does get boring and I get tired especially during the day when I should be working, but my swimming just feels a lot smoother than it has ever felt before. My swimming distances are no comparison to those of Michael Phelps or any others among those Olympians. Not that I should make any comparison. We all have our personal goals and aspirations. The main thing is to keep at it while there is opportunity and not give up.