Things I’ll never forget about Beijing 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | 10:49 AM ET
Things I’ll never forget about Beijing 2008, with one rule: I had to see them in person.
1) Priscilla Lopes-Schliep’s bronze in the 100-metre hurdles. Maybe it wasn’t the most glamorous event or record-smashing result. But, it had incredible drama, a stunning finish, great suspense and complete surprise.
Plus, it involved Canadian success.
2) Usain Bolt winning the 200 gold in world-record time. Before the Olympics, he told anyone who would listen – including Donovan Bailey – that he wouldn’t try to beat Michael Johnson’s 19:32. Minutes before the race began, Bailey predicted the record was safe. After all, Bolt hadn’t run his hardest yet and he was tired from eight races in six days.
When Bolt came out of the turn, didn’t slow down and people realized he was going for it, they went berserk. As he crossed that line and “WR” came up on the clock, it was bedlam. Spontaneous craziness, for lack of a better term. Even Bailey was going nuts. Then, 91,000 people sang him “Happy Birthday”.
What a scene that was.
3) Jason Lezak chasing down Alain Bernard in the 4x100 relay. This was Michael Phelps’ second gold, and he was helpless, watching from the deck when it happened. He’d swum the lead leg, only to watch the French eventually take control.
The mouthy Bernard entered the race as the 100 world-record holder and had guaranteed his team would “smash” the Americans. However, he committed two rookie mistakes, allowing Lezak to swim in his wake and then taking an extra-long breath to look for the Yank at the finish. Lezak took advantage and beat him by a cuticle.
Some think Phelps’ near-defeat in the 100 butterfly was more exciting, but I choose this one because he had almost no control over the outcome.
4) Mike Brown’s 200 breaststroke final. He missed the podium by a heartbreaking 0.09 seconds, then apologized to Canadians for not getting there (not that it was necessary). As the race ended, Marianne Limpert said that the worst places to finish at the Olympics were second or fourth, and it was clear he felt the same way. I’ve always felt you learn the true character of a person in defeat, not victory. That day, we all learned Mike Brown has great character.
I was reminded of that one week later, when I sent him some email questions about the aftermath. His response:
“Immediately after my race, I got through all the interviews poolside, then walked back to the Canada section, where our massage tables and support staff stay during competition, and lay on one of the tables. Put a towel over my head and cried for about 20 minutes. My coach, Jan Bidrman, came over, lifted the towel up and noticed I was crying, so he laid the towel back down, pulled up a chair and waited for me to pop my head up. I talked to him, which was hard, because he was just as upset – not angry – but upset, because we both have been working so long and hard for that one moment, and I missed it by 0.09 of a second. I calmed down and went to meet my family, where more tears flowed and lots of hugging. They just kept saying how proud they are of me and what I have accomplished is amazing. Fourth at the Olympics, fourth-fastest on the list of all-time 200 breaststroke swimmers...Commonwealth record-holder, and set a Canadian record that won’t be touched for awhile, two-time Olympian...I realize all this and am extremely proud. It helps a little, but I replay that race constantly in my head.”
He added, “I am past the tears by this point, but not over it yet,” and “I will be going for another four years. That’s a long time to wait for another shot at the podium but I came so close this time that I need to try again.”
Brown concluded with, “I will always walk away from everything I do with my head high, regardless of result. Because excellence is not an achievement, it’s a characteristic.”
Wow. All I can say is, “Good Luck, Mike.”
A nation will be rooting for you.
5) Simon Whitfield’s silver in the triathlon. I’m cheating on this one. I watched it on a monitor in the International Broadcast Centre. Who cares? Seeing him rip off his visor and charge at the leaders was right out of Rocky.
6) Liu Xiang’s stunning withdrawal in the 110 hurdles. Even remote civilizations who ignore technology and shut themselves from the world understood this event’s importance to China. A Belgian reporter was looking for two tickets to the final for one of his interpreters. A broker told him it would cost 6,000 Euros (approximately $9,500 Cdn). After Xiang pulled out, the price went down to 200 Euros.
When he walked off the track, it was as if the crowd expected him to go change his shorts and come back. No one knew how badly he was injured. Then, an announcement was made. I’ve heard conflicting reports about what was said (the language was Mandarin), but it was either “Xiang is out” or “the race will begin now.”
All of a sudden, there was a very loud shriek, followed by dead silence, no emotion at all as the heat was run. People either sat stunned, or just got up and left. Members of the Chinese media were crying in the mixed zone, crying in the press conference, crying on live television. It was as if he had died.
Canada’s Mark McKoy is the oldest man ever to win this event. He was 30 in 1992. Xiang will be 29 in London.
7) Ryan Cochrane’s bronze medal in the 1,500 freestyle. This is the most brutal indoor swim event. Rick Say predicted that Cochrane would be Canada’s surprise swimmer and the 19-year-old put on a terrific performance. He was caught – and briefly passed – near the finish by veteran Yuri Prilukov, but showed the poise of someone twice his age.
Pretty good for a guy who says his twin brother, Devin, has all the athletic talent in the family.
8) Yelena Isinbayeva’s world-record in the pole vault. What a showman she is. Just before her successful attempt, the U.S. men swept the medals in the 400 hurdles. She waited until they finished their victory lap, so she had the crowd’s undivided attention. It resulted in one of the loudest ovations of the Games.
American Jenn Stuczynski promised she would beat Isinbayeva, leading the Russian to say, “It just goes to show you that people who talk too much don’t win anything,” during her interview with the CBC.
What a great quote.
9) Keith Beavers’ qualification in the 200 IM. Beavers entered the Olympics ranked 28th in the world in this event. After swimming in semifinal I, he waited by our interview site to watch the other one. When he realized his time was just enough, he celebrated like a gold medallist. (Of course, my giant cranium got in the way of the shot. Luckily, another camera caught it.)
He retired from international swimming with a 7th-place finish, 21 spots above his ranking.
10) Julia Wilkinson admitting that she was once so nervous before a race, she threw up on her boyfriend’s jacket.
Wilkinson has a chance to be a star at the London Games. According to Canadian swimming coach Tom Johnson, she can contend in the 100/200 freestyles and the 200 IM. Her sister, Jane, two years older and a long-time swimmer herself, thinks the 100 backstroke is also a possibility.
Jane played a huge role in Julia’s coming-out party here. Julia began the competition with a couple of terrific swims, then suffered a disappointment in the 100 back. She wanted to finish in 59 seconds, but didn’t and was devastated. It was strange, as if her positive start was entirely erased by one bad race.
Julia later credited her sister for reviving her confidence, because “sometimes parents just don’t understand.”
Jane responded to an email question about that day: “Julia called me all upset because she knew (and I knew) she could have gone faster, broken one minute and made it to the final (top eight). Swimming is such a mental sport that sometimes when one race goes badly, you start to lose your confidence in your training, your fitness or your ability to compete at the meet. The best thing about Julia’s disappointing race was that she had a bad start. Both of us knew that the outcome of the race had nothing to do with how she actually ‘swam’ the race. I told her that she was swimming fast and that she should not put too much emphasis on the race, just because she had a bad start. The rest of her races would be great if she could put that race behind her, which is what both my Mom and I told her to do.”
I also asked Jane if her sister was confident enough in herself to handle the pressure of winning.
“Julia has always been a racer. In the past, she has had to feel the pressure of winning and she has been successful. Her swimming background at her conference championships and NCAAs has created pressure-filled situations in which she has learned (even if she is anxious and pukes on herself and her boyfriend’s parka) that she can compete with the other girls. I believe that when the time comes that Julia is racing for gold at the Olympics, her anxiety and her nervousness won’t hold her back from winning.”
Julia will be 25 in 2012. If she believes in herself as much as Jane does, there’s no reason she can’t be one of Canada’s brightest stars.
11) Everything else. What an awesome experience. This was my fourth Olympics (Salt Lake, Athens, Turin). From broadcasters to former competitors, so many with so much more experience than me said it was the best one they’ve ever seen.
One last thing about Brown and Wilkinson: They will both work in television. I first met Brown at the 2004 Olympic Trials, when he won the 200 breaststroke and proceeded to do a posedown on the deck, drawing hysterical laughter from the crowd. He recently did an interview with Cosmo TV, and the station raved about him.
Wilkinson, a communications major at Texas A & M, also has charisma and a great sense of humour. She’s very comfortable in front of the camera and can laugh at herself, a lost art in 2008.
Biggest winner: Speedo. The LZR swimsuit (pronounced “laser”) snared all but two of the sport’s gold medals. (Germany’s Britta Steffen – who won the women’s 50 and 100 – was the exception. Her country, which had a contract with Adidas, did not allow its swimmers to wear them. Make no mistake, those athletes were extremely upset, even with Steffen’s victories. By comparison, Japan basically tore up its contract with Mizuno.)
I can understand why their existence was referred to as “technological doping.”
Jessicah Schipper’s suit ripped in the ready room before she won the bronze in the 100 butterfly, and Ryan Lochte’s came apart as he won the 200 back. Federica Pellegrini wore another swimsuit under the LZR because she was worried about tearing. They are so tight that racers wearing the full-body version were begging the first person they saw after getting out of the pool to unzip them. But, a swimmer without one was a panicky mess. Steffen’s two victories were late in the competition and I wonder if Speedo’s dominance would have been so great if she had won earlier.
That does, however, lead into the next topic.
Phelps or Bolt: I’d prefer to accept them as equals, the two most dominant men in the history of their sports. But if you put a shotgun to my head and said, “Pick!” – well, my choice would be Bolt.
The LZR is one reason. There were 25 World Records set in the pool, compared to five at the track. Phelps set a ridiculous seven, three of them in relays. Bolt set three, one of them in a relay. I have no doubt Phelps would still have won eight golds if he swam in leotards and a tutu. But would he have set all those world records? I’m not as sure.
While track technology is greatly improved from the days Percy Williams won golds for Canada, there was nothing runners wore which influenced results as much as the LZR. In a regular swimsuit, does Phelps set seven? I don’t know. But I do know that Bolt still sets his three.
The second reason is much more subjective. Bolt is a riot. He allows himself to be himself: a funny guy, a big kid, a 22-year-old enjoying the ride. If you showed up at his aunt’s reggae bar in Jamaica, he’d probably invite you to join him for a bottle of Red Stripe.
Phelps is more robotic. He doesn’t have Bolt’s charisma or joy. At times, he appears manufactured in a laboratory. I got the impression that for him, Olympic domination was more relief than fun. In four years, maybe Bolt will be similar because of expectations, but I doubt it.
Most Stunningly Insane Comments: IOC president Jacques Rogge is handed a fan-friendly Olympic superstar in Bolt, and goes out of his way to attack the sprinter’s alleged taunting, which, by the way, not one of his defeated opponents complain about. Then, he questions whether or not the guy is a drug cheat.
I guess Rogge needed to be noticed, since the Chinese government basically reduced him to an unimportant, insignificant figurehead. Kind of like the Governor-General.
Edwin Aldrin Award: Because no one remembers who was second on the moon, honouring those totally overshadowed by Bolt and Phelps.
In the pool, Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe won a gold and three silvers. Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima dominated the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Rebecca Adlington was the first British swimmer to win multiple golds in a century.
Australia’s Stephanie Rice won three times, set two world records and, according to The New York Post, snared Michael Phelps. I wonder which one she considers the greatest achievement.
On the track, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele became the first in 28 years to complete the 5,000/10,000 double. Before Angelo Taylor, no one ever won gold in both the 400 hurdles and the 4x400 relay. And 19-year-old Pamela Jelimo became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold. That surprised me. The country is so dominant, I figured another female would have won one by accident.
Biggest disgrace: The Canadian Olympic Committee for not allowing Donovan Bailey, Clara Hughes, Mark Tewksbury and Perdita Felicien into Canada House. I understand the COC doesn’t want media inside, but there’s a huge difference between schlubs like myself and, say, Hughes.
Let’s go over the resumes:
Bailey won two gold medals, three world championships and set a world record in the 100. It stood as the Olympic standard until Bolt showed up 10 days ago.
Hughes is the only Canadian to win medals in both the Winter and Summer Olympics, and the only person anywhere with more than one in each. She has five, including gold in 5000m speed skating from 2006.
Tewksbury owns one Olympic medal of each color. His gold came in Barcelona, from the 100 backstroke.
Felicien is the 2003 world champion and 2007 world silver medallist in the 100 hurdles.
Tewksbury, blocked at the door by some bouncer wannabe, actually could see a poster of himself on the wall. That still didn’t get him in.
What an embarrassment. If the COC doesn’t care about its athletes, why should anyone else?
Favourite Anthem: Kenya’s is really haunting. Dramatic and powerful. Loved it every time I heard it. Italy’s was my second favourite. When Pellegrini won the 200 free, the crowd clapped along to the up-tempo beat, even though it had no idea how the song went.
Most Overrated Event: Beach volleyball. Yeah, I know it looks great on television. And, yes, even President Bush was creepily ogling Misty May-Treanor. But the indoor game is superior. It’s not even close.
Sorry For Asking: Following the 3m springboard diving event (no Canadians entered), I was asked to tape an interview with Russian silver medallists Julia Pakhalina and Anastasia Pozdnyakova. We knew Pakhalina spoke English, but we weren’t sure about Pozdnyakova, so I asked her. She looked at me like I had a third ear on my forehead and snapped, “Of course.”
Cameraman Gary Hogg is probably still laughing. It was pretty funny.
The Class Acts: People who stopped to talk even when they lost painfully.
Canadian Division: Mike Brown; Dylan Armstrong (who agonizingly lost a shot put medal on the second-last throw); Gary Reed (whose late charge in the 800 missed the podium by a microscopic 0.12 seconds); and Adam van Koeverden. (Okay, I cheated on that one, too. Karen Larsin did a great job with that interview. Sue me.)
Non-Canadian division: British swimmer Francesca Halsall. The BBC was stationed next to me at the Water Cube, so I saw her interviewed when the Brits just missed the medals in the 4x100 medley relay. Apparently, she did not want to enter the race because it’s not her specialty, but anchored because she was pressured to do so. She cried into the camera and apologized to the country for not getting to the podium. She’s 18. It was tough to watch.
American hurdler Lolo Jones, who tripped on the final hurdle en route to gold. Her mistake allowed Lopes-Schliep to win a medal. She must have done 40 interviews explaining what happened.
Darvis Patton and Lauryn Williams from the American men’s and women’s 4x100 relay teams. Both dropped the batons, but took the heat. Williams had a great line despite her sadness, saying, “Maybe the baton had a life of its own.”
U.S. breaststroker Brendan Hansen. Once a dominant force in the event, Hansen failed to make the Olympic team in the 200 and missed the podium in the 100 as hated rival Kitajima took both. But he stopped to explain what happened and even made a point of congratulating a man who openly mocked him for his failures.
Wasn’t It Nice To See: Jamaican sprinters actually win medals for Jamaica?
Sorry For Asking II: We interviewed Jamaican 400 hurdler Melaine Walker after her opening heat. She looked good, but was annoyed at the way she ran. After the semi, she was very happy, and when we asked to interview again, she said, “Oh, now you want to talk to me.” I looked at her and said, “What are you talking about? We talked to you yesterday.”
She says, “Oh. Go ahead then.”
I can’t remember which cameraman was howling at that bizarre exchange. She gave a superb interview after winning the gold, though.
Bad Technique Award: Katie Hoff in the 400 free and Milorad Cavic in the 100 butterfly. Hoff short-armed her way into the finish, allowing Rebecca Adlington to beat her by a fingernail. Cavic didn’t go into the wall hard – as every swimmer is taught to do – which gave Phelps gold number seven. And can we stop with the conspiracy talk? The Serbs themselves admitted defeat.
Funniest Canadian: Decathlete Massimo Bertocchi. Highlight after the five Day I events? “Finishing.” Highlight after the five Day II events? “Finishing.”
Most Disgusting Moment: No names to protect the protagonists, but a reporter near me asked one of the runners for an interview after the 5,000. The athlete asked for a few minutes, then proceeded to vomit right in front of both of us. That wasn’t so bad, because it actually happened a couple of times, so you get used to it.
But, the reporter actually went ahead with the interview! It’s not like the guy was a medal winner, or even from the same country as the guy questioning him. I almost puked watching it.
Worst-Handled Moment: Could track officials have butchered the 200 any worse? They disqualify Wallace Spearmon, but allow him to do a victory lap before saying anything. Shawn Crawford – originally fourth – finds out he’s won a bronze while doing an interview with Swedish TV, as the on-air guy points to the corrected scoreboard. (He later gets upgraded to silver when another sprinter is DQ’d.) Initially, Crawford thinks the reporter is nuts.
Much Respect For: The U.S. Track & Field Assocation. The Americans had no one in the men’s 800 final, no one in the men’s javelin final and no one in the men’s long jump final. Two out of three medal contenders collapsed in the men’s shot and Bernard Lagat was a huge disappointment in his 1500/5000 double attempt. Sprinters from both sexes were dominated by the Jamaicans, and the two 4x100 relay teams dropped batons in the semis.
The men did go 1-2-3 in the 400 and the 400 hurdles, while the women joined them in sweeping the 4x400s. In Canada, there would be a parade down Sussex Drive, complete with former Winnipeg Blue Bomber cheerleaders.
But not south of the 49th. Here’s what Doug Logan, the organization’s CEO, wrote in his blog:
“I have received e-mails from people across the country, particularly about the relays. They all say more or less the same thing: the dropped batons were reflective of a lack of preparation, lack of professionalism and of leadership. I agree...We can be a much better team. And we will be."
That’s a standard this country should strive for.
Craziest Scene: The silk market or the pearl market. If you don’t like to be touched, don’t go. If you don’t like to argue, don’t bother. It’s more physical than Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
But, I did get a good price on a Frolex.
You’ve Never Seen Anything Like: Beijing drivers. Generally, I think Toronto’s pretty bad. I’ve driven in Mexico, Italy and Israel, all of which have bad reputations, and none of them are worse than the Ontario capital.
Then, I arrived in China.
Imagine every ridiculous stereotype of bad driving you can think of, and multiply it by a trillion. Three weeks into my stay, I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Sometimes, they will pay attention to traffic lights, but lane markings are nothing more than a guideline, cyclists go anywhere they want, pedestrians think they’re invincible and the horn should be the country’s official musical instrument.
One-way streets? Who cares? Just pick any direction you want. Lane changes? Here’s how they work: There was a major six-lane road (three lanes each direction) going past our hotel. Let’s say we’re leaving it, and our driver pulls out into the main road. Does he wait for an opening? Don’t be stupid.
He simply coasts into the closest lane. Anyone charging at us doesn’t stop, they just slide into the next one. Drivers already in that middle lane follow the same process into the last one. What do the people in that far lane do? They go back towards the middle, of course. In Beijing, you spend as much time driving sideways as you do moving forward.
Too bad I never got a chance to try.
I Wondered If It Was Fixed: The diving competition. I covered the first three events, and listened as Anne Montminy described how the judges were being influenced by the hometown crowd. Some less-than-perfect attempts were getting good scores, and China badly wanted the eight-event sweep. Now, I didn’t see the Alex Despatie silver, the Emilie Heymans silver or the Blythe Hartley fourth, but Steve Armitage said he thought it was honest.
Army’s seen more diving than just about anyone, so I take his word. I do, however, admit to some skepticism.
Impressive Teenage Performance: Sixteen-year-old diver Jennifer Abel clunked her third dive in the springboard prelims, jeopardizing her chances at qualifying for the second round. It would have been easy for her to collapse, but she showed great composure in regaining control and advancing. She didn’t make the finals, but I didn’t cover that, so she doesn’t lose any points under my scoring system.
I Don’t Know What To Make Of Him: Brent Hayden. Hayden swam exactly one bad race. Unfortunately, it was in his premiere event, the 100 freestyle. The 2007 world champion looked awesome until he coasted through his semifinal swim and, as a result, didn’t even reach the final. Then, he swam an outstanding relay leg in the 4x200 freestyle, a team he said would be “a surprise not to medal,” but ended up fifth.
He didn’t seem too bothered by either finish, even admitting to CBC that he “left something in the pool” and didn’t go all out in his solo race. That didn’t go unnoticed, especially by Swimming Canada.
He’s talented, he’s friendly, he’s likeable. But, does he have what it takes to be a champion again?
How Can You Not Root For This Guy? Ryan Lochte, who won two golds and two bronze, admitted he played the flaming bag trick on his girlfriend. That instantly made him my favourite Olympian.
Lochte also said he has no idea where his 2004 medals are (he won two), and minutes after winning the 200 backstroke, added he was already thinking about 2012.
And You Thought You Had A Bad Week: Swimmer Victoria Poon qualified for her first Olympics, but spent most of it in quarantine after catching the chicken pox. She was removed from the 4x100 relay, but did get to swim the 50. She didn’t get a second race, which is too bad, because if anyone deserved it, it was Poon.
Great Attitude Award: Joe Bartoch, who competed in the 100 butterfly, did not qualify for the semis after finishing two seconds behind the leader. Even though he’s 25, he said he wouldn’t retire, because, “Even though I’m not supposed to say it, I want that world record.”
Best Quote I Read: Amanda Beard, who seems willing to take off her clothes for anyone who asks nicely, said, “Ewww, that’s nasty” when asked if she hooked up with Phelps.
Most Surreal Experience: I show up for the closing ceremonies, and cameraman Mark Punga is telling me he’s taken 100 pictures with the young men and women who are waiting to participate. He’s not joking. We are repeatedly swarmed by friendly performers who want to take photos with us for no apparent reason.
They don’t ask us who we are. They don’t ask us where we’re from. They just want to be in a picture with us, either giving the thumbs up or pretending we are interviewing them. I am not exaggerating when I say that we must have been in 500 snapshots. Several times, security has to come by and chase people away.
The only time we are ignored is when David Beckham shows up. (By the way, I was told Beckham had it in his contract that no close-up shots could be taken of his face. Maybe I can get the same deal.)
Mel Lastman Award: I was worried London mayor Boris Johnson would strangle himself waving the Olympic flag.
Saddest Realization: That the average Chinese person lives a life of fear. There were a couple examples of this, but the one that stands out involved Marianne Limpert. One day, as we were getting onto the shuttle from our hotel to the IBC, she had an umbrella that a young worker said was “too big.”
I know, it sounds crazy. But the volunteer was serious.
We tried to say it was not such a big deal, we’d just keep it in a corner, but she looked at us in horror. It became very clear that she was scared for two reasons. First, she needed approval from a manager to clear the umbrella and, second, she was concerned that we would be unhappy because of her.
These Games were supposed to put a good face on China, and it became obvious over 21 days that Chinese people wanted no part of being responsible for a tourist’s unhappiness. They avoided arguments at all costs (except for the silk/pearl markets) and did everything they could to make visitors comfortable.
But, there are rules. Some of them were of the micromanaging variety, like the umbrella rule, or asking people on the shuttles to store their bags on the shelves provided, not on the seats or on the floor by their feet. When some of us resisted these small rules, you could see the worry. They were concerned about getting in trouble, because these small, silly rules weren’t being followed.
I’m having trouble finding a word to describe how hard it feels to realize their fear.
The idea that the Games changed China is beyond naive. The government built spectacular venues that Vancouver or London simply should not bother trying to emulate. There is no opposition here. If the politicians decided to build a $200 million Water Cube that will smash world records, who is going to stop them?
The infrastructure was changed, but the society? I don’t think so.
These people are friendly, and I think they really enjoyed the experience. When Canadian athletes or broadcasters said these were the best Games they’d ever seen, the Chinese nationals absolutely beamed. You should have seen the smiles. But what kind of lives are they going back to?
I wonder about that. And I probably won’t stop wondering for a while.
We’re lucky to live in Canada.
Finally, A Thank You: I don’t really like to talk about media access, because I don’t think the public cares who does (or doesn’t) talk to us. But, it should be noted that I had the opportunity to interview 58 Canadian athletes after competition, many of them more than once. You know how many said no?
I’ve written before that the Olympic setup for interviews is far, far harder than any other league’s. There is no cool-down time. You move right from competition to media inquiry. It didn’t matter if a Canadian won a medal, finished agonizingly close, or wasn’t even near the podium. They all talked.
That simply does not happen in any other sport, and people should know that.
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About the Author
Elliotte Friedman is the host of the CFL ON CBC. Prior to being named host in 2006, Friedman worked on the CFL on CBC broadcasts for the three seasons as a sideline reporter. A Toronto native, Friedman is well known for his additional work on Hockey Night in Canada, as well as his presence on the Torino 2006 Winter Games telecasts as a hockey reporter. Prior to joining the CBC, Friedman worked at The Score network and was widely regarded as one of the best reporters in the country. Friedman used his reporting skills to break stories and file feature reports for high profile events including six Stanley Cup Finals, four Grey Cup Championships, two World Series and one Olympic Games. He is also a regular on the nationally syndicated Prime Time Sports radio telecast, hosted by Bob McCown.
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