If you’ve been taking in any of the Olympic coverage over the last week and a bit, you’ll no doubt have witnessed the very best in sport and humanity. So often the Olympics put politics and indifference aside in the spirit of competition.
A big story of the games has been the continued dominance of American swimmer Michael Phelps. He officially became the most successful Olympian even, eclipsing an over 2000 (yes, TWO THOUSAND) year old mark back from the ancient Olympiads in the BC calendar. However one of his races, the 200m Individual Medley was perhaps a little more dramatic for Canadian viewers.
Well respected hockey broadcaster Elliotte Friedman has been leading the swimming coverage on CBC during the games. He’s been on Canada’s flagship hockey program, Hockey Night in Canada, for years and is widely respected and highly regarded by peers and the general audience. However a collossal mistake from Friedman occured last week during the 200m IM when Friedman mixed up a pair of American swimmers going at it side by side, Phelps and his closest rival Ryan Lochte.
Of course Phelps won the race quite handidly, but with the mixup Friedman called it as a massive upset before realizing his mistake at the completion of the race. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg reached out to chat with Friedman who has been masterful in owning up to the mistake.
Keep your flowers and your sorrys. Elliotte Friedman doesn’t want them. It is 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. Friedman is sitting in the Olympics Aquatic Stadium, a few feet and 15 hours removed from where the worst moment of his professional life occured, and you can keep your sympathy in your pocket.
You probably heard what happened. Michael Phelps beat his friend and rival, Ryan Lochte, for the gold in the 200 individual medley, and on his call for CBC, Friedman confused the two. He had Lochte winning the race. He said Phelps did not get a medal.
“I feel like s—,” he says. “I’m not gonna lie to you. I believe that there is a certain standard that’s required to broadcast the Olympic Games. I don’t even feel that badly for myself. I feel badly that I let my network down. That’s the thing I feel the worst about.”
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Everyone has made mistakes, you make them and you move on. Can’t help but love how he just owned it. As noted in the story, that lowest of low moments for Friedman was followed by one of Canadian swimming’s biggest victories that he also got to call.