Beijing Diary, Deep thoughts on the Hammer Mobile, by Larry Eder



I love this photo! It is of the remote control vehicle that takes hammer from its landing position back to the thrower. When I get bored, I like to watch the vehicle roaming around the field. Actually, to add some entertainment to the event, I believe if someone can hit one of the hammer vehicles with a flying hammer that they should be given a fourth medal! What do you think?

One of my zen moments in track & field happened at the hammer throw at Mt. SAC in the early nineties. Joe Mangan, my partner in crime at FootHill college ( I was his assistant coach), were watching Ken Flax throw the hammer. Ken fouled on the sector, and it was a long and high foul.

Some bonehead, and I use this term to suggest that they a) were elgible for a Darwin award, was eating lunch with a little blue and white icechest out about two hundred, fifty feet. They saw the foul and moved just in time. Mr. Flax's hammer arched, and then came down with a resounding thud on the aforementioned ice chest. In this zen moment the ice chest, which contained a watermelon, erupted vertically into one stream of pink fluid. The amazed hammer fans erupted into applause. Flax was pleased.

I also wanted to add a picture of AJ Kreuger, who represented the US in the hammer throw. As his mark was not in the top twelve, he did not make the hammer final.

While I do applaud the medal mania of Mr. Phelps, I do want to remind my dear readers, who do not need to be reminded, that in our sport, such antics are impossible. In track & field, which has over 2,000 athletes competing here, most of the athletes are not in the hunt for the 121 medals offered in track & field. Unlike some people, I remind you that an Olympic medal comes in three colors: gold, silver and bronze. To win one is the highight of a young athlete's life! To complete in the Olympics, to be one of the 10,450 athletes here, gives one the adjective of Olympian to use before the name. It is a difference between the said athletes and other seven billlion people on this planet. They are the envy of many and the have a higher responsibility as well to live up to--they are Olympians.

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