Even though the posters around Japan are calling this Tokyo 2020, most of us know this is 2021. Finally, Finally, Finally. The opening ceremonies came off okay and TV viewers hardly knew the stadium was empty. Many athletes and sometimes whole delegations were violating the masking rules but what the hey, they're the youth of the world. They've inherited what we've left behind. Hopefully they will make something better of it.
A week or so ago I wrote about Michael Woods, the Canadian and U. of Michigan four minute miler who was riding in the Tour de France. Yesterday, Woods finished 5th in a brutal 259 kilometer race through the countryside around Mt. Fuji. Richard Carapaz of Ecuador broke away from the field with 6 kilometers to go and won in dominating fashion. Like many road races, the following pack of riders were all within a second of each other fighting for the remaining two medals and Woods, though he was credited with the same time as the medalists, finished 5th.
Many of those guys had just completed the Tour de France less than a week ago. This year's Tour winner Tadej Pdoagar, only 21 years old from Slovenia finished third. It was his second Tour win.
Here are the first nine finishers:
1. Richard Carapaz, Ecuador 6 hrs 5 min 26 sec
2. Wout van Aert, Belgium 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
3. Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
4. Bauke Mollena, Netherlands 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
5. Michael Woods, Canada 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
6. Brandon McNutly, USA 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
7. David Gaudu, France 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
8. Rigoberto Uran, Columbia 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
9. Adam Yates, Great Britain 6 hrs 6 min 33 sec
Sorry, readers, I know this is a track blog, but I just couldn't help myself.
Tonight in Portland, OR , Matt Centrowitz will be making an assault on the American one mile run record currently held by Alan Webb at 3:46.91. I'm sure those who need to know won't have to wait for us to post the result of that attempt.
So Who Was the First American Olympian?
Of a more historical context, yesterday I received a copy of an article in the Dayton Daily News by writer Tom Archdeacon. In it Tom writes about the Olympians with a Dayton area connection. We all know of Edwin Moses and Bob Schul, Tonya Buford-Bailey, LaVonna Martin Floreal, Joe Greene, Ed Cook and current 800 star Clayton Murphy. However in Archdeacon's list of approximately 60 Olympians with a Dayton connection, I saw two names that were not familiar. One of those names Francis 'Frank' Lane turned out to be the first American ever to participate in the modern Olympics. He lined up in the first heat of the 100 meters in 1896 and won it, thus claiming that honor. In the final he finished third.
Interestingly, Lane's cousin Albert C. Tyler also competed in Athens that year and won the silver medal in the pole vault. Both men had graduated from Franklin High School about 20 miles south of Dayton. Neither of them was born in Franklin, but they ended up going to high school there.
The following data on the lads is taken from the olympedia website and wikipedia.
|Francis Adonijah "Frank"•Lane|
|Born||23 September 1874 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)|
|Died||17 February 1927 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)|
|Measurements||170 cm / 69 kg|
|Affiliations||Princeton Tigers, Princeton (USA)|