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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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August 9, 2008 7:43 PM

Oh, say can you ... huh?

Posted by Ron Judd

Now here's somebody you wouldn't want to be in China today: The poor sap responsible for playing the U.S. national anthem at the Michael Phelps medal ceremony.

The song started out in the wrong place, and seemed to play the opening bar at least one extra time -- maybe even two. In the stands, MIchael Phelps' mother, who had been mouthing the words, stopped abruptly, and looked confused.

At that point, the recording shifted into an unusual strings arrangement for the "rockets red glare" chorus. Then it went for the big finish:

"O'er the land of the free
and the ...

(Dead air.)

Phelps got a laugh out of it. No big deal.

And none other than George W., sitting in the stands, waved a flag frenetically and didn't seem to notice -- perhaps avoiding a major international incident.

But we're guessing the person at the audio controls has some 'splaining to do in ultra-image-conscious China.

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Blogroll and links The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information. Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.