Tiger of the Week: Charles Gibson ’65
In the most publicized “get” of the presidential campaign, ABC anchorman Charles Gibson ’65 went to Alaska last week to record a series of one-on-one interviews with Gov. Sarah Palin, her first on national TV. And while most of the attention was on Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, the bright lights fell on Gibson as well, with questions about what he would ask and how tough he would be.
The interviews were a popular draw for TV viewers — ABC won the week’s evening-news ratings race by a wide margin. But reviews were mixed: Some critics complained about the drawn-out format, while others applauded Gibson’s professionalism and no-nonsense approach. As Tom Shales of the The Washington Post wrote, “[I]t was almost a no-win situation, yet he came out of it not losing.” For that, Gibson is our Tiger of the Week.
Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. Nominees need not be famous — all alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.
New art from mixed-media painter Sara Sill ’73
Artist Sara Sill ’73 will exhibit some of her latest works, including the digital print images above from a recent trip to Japan, as part of New York’s Chelsea Artists Weekend Sept. 19-21. The exhibit at Sill’s studio (526 West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th avenues in Manhattan) will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Questions and answers with Olympic swimmer Bryan Tay ’12
Bryan Tay ’12 has not yet competed for Princeton’s swimming team, but he has been part of the sport’s most important meet, swimming the 200-meter freestyle for Singapore in the Olympics last month. Before arriving on campus, Tay answered a few questions for PAW by e-mail.
How did your performance in the pool compare to your personal expectations?
My performance was beyond my expectations. I went into the Olympics having not done my personal best for two years and I was a under a lot of pressure to lower it, so it came as a huge surprise when I saw my timing on the scoreboard [1:50.41]. I swam better than I expected, winning my heat. My timing was about 1.6 seconds under my previous national record. So I’m really happy with that.
What were the highlights for you outside the pool?
One of the highlights would definitely be meeting up with the athletes from all around the world - Roger Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, and [Novak] Djokovic (I’m a huge tennis fan). Also, I got to visit places like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. These places are so steeped in history and being able to see them and walk through them was an amazing experience.
Did you enjoy the Athletes Village?
Yes. I’ve been to quite a few international competitions and made a couple of friends from all over. I wasn’t able to hang out with them much as I flew back home on the 15th, before the meet ended. I did, however, have the pleasure of enjoying meals with athletes from other countries and just sitting around and chatting.
Bryan Tay ’12, foreground, dives into the pool for his Olympic heat. Photo courtesy Bryan Tay ’12
A baseball fan in Beijing
PAW contributor and Daily Princetonian senior writer Eric Dodds ’10 spent part of his summer break working for NBC Sports in Beijing and exploring the Olympic venues.
Over the month I spent in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, I had more once-in-a-lifetime experiences than one person should be allowed — experiences that I’ll never forget. But one stands out because I wish that I could forget it. I had the misfortune of attending one of the final two United States Olympic baseball games.
I don’t say “misfortune” because I did not appreciate the opportunity to be at the most highly anticipated game of the entire tournament, but rather because it was heartbreaking to see my once-mighty country so thoroughly thrashed in its national pastime.
As a diehard baseball fan, the United States-Cuba semifinal held a special place in my heart that swimming, track, and basketball — despite all their excitement — never could. When I realized I would be able to attend, I jumped at the opportunity, despite knowing that the Cuban squad was heavily favored.
For a short time, it seemed that the game might turn out the way the dozen American fans in attendance wished it would. Instead of the usual oppressive Beijing humidity, players and fans were treated to some unusually dry weather. Even better for the United States, they had phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the mound.
Unfortunately, Strasburg’s usual dominance — he finished the tournament with a 1.64 earned-run average — was absent in the semifinal. After holding the Cubans scoreless in the first two innings, the San Diego State junior allowed two runs in the third and another in the fourth.
From there, it became clear that the U.S. squad possessed neither the talent nor the passion to mount a comeback. Though the Americans kept the game close all the way through to the eighth inning, it never felt as though they had a chance. The Cubans exploded for six runs from a pair of three-run homers in the bottom of the eighth. They would win 10-2.
For the United States, there will be no real shot at redemption, though they did manage to claim the bronze medal with a win over Japan the following afternoon. Baseball has been removed from the Olympic schedule for the 2012 Games in London. Maybe it’s for the best. By Eric Dodds ’10