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Monday, August 6, 2012


There was Victor Herbert's 1903 Babes in Toyland, a Chicago production, stimulated by the New York stage musical hit of that year, The Wizard of Oz (can you believe it started this far back in time?), from which came Toyland and March of the Toys, and even the film by Laurel and Hardy in 1934.

Babes on Broadway and Babes in Arms both featured Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.  Then there was Babe, about a cute pig.  So the term babe, connoting the younger generation, has long been used in a non-provocative manner.  Sure, there was Babe Ruth, but there has been a gender shift over time, and babes today rarely refer to men.

We're only half way through the London Olympics, but already, teenage women have stole the show.  Happy about Andy Murray for returning to the same Wimbledon centre court to trounce Roger Federer for the gold only two weeks after being beaten by this same person in this same venue, and, yes, Usain Bolt is dominant in the sprints.  However, four babes will forever be remembered:

1.  Ye Shiwen is 16, and a shade over 5' 6".  She won two swimming golds, setting the world record in the 400 meters, finishing the final 50 faster than Ryan Lockte when he won his gold.  So what kind of respect does she get?  American John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said the performance was suspicious and disturbing.  He further hinted that blood samples are kept for eight years, and if we don't find anything now, and "something" was taken, we'll nail her later, or something like that.  I call it sour grapes.

2.  Missy Franklin was already featured on 1August2011.  She won four medals in swimming, three golds, and will only get better.  About that "affair" with Justin Bieber, yes, they are both 17, but Missy is 6' 1", while Justin is probably around 5' 6".  He will be entertaining in Denver on January 7 and has invited Missy backstage.  She plans to get a hip tattoo of the Olympic Rings before returning to St Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado as a senior. 

3.  Katie Ledecky is 5' 10" tall and at the age of 15 will become a high school sophomore at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart after she goes home to Bethesda, Maryland.  She is the youngest American olympian in London and was not expected to even medal.  She merely swam the second fastest 800 meter freestyle of all time and and won the gold.  The Olympics tryout was her first major competition.  Take yourself back to her age.  I was transitioning from Central Intermediate to McKinley High School and my only real memory is that I was overwhelmed by this large campus.  She has already won an Olympic gold medal.

4.  Rearrange Gabrielle Christina Victoria "Gabby" DOUGLAS (left photo by Gregory Bull) last name and you get USA GOLD.  This anagram symbolizes her fantasy world, leaving her family in Virginia Beach to train under Liang Chow in Des Moines.  All this sacrifice led her to two golds so far, with two events to go.  Will she return to Iowa for home and gymnastics schooling, or her real home in Virginia?  She is only 16.  Will she return to Rio in 2016?  There is an almost physical law that limits perfection in women's gymnastics only to "little girls."  Quoting U.S. coach John Geddert:

  (Younger girls) do not need to deal with curves.

However, he said that she is 16 but looks like 12 (she is 4' 11" and thin), so she might have the genetic makeup to do it.  What he did not directly say is that breasts might not become an issue.  For sure, money is now not a problem, for all indications are that she will earn up to $10 million over the next few years:

From purity to something else, let me conclude with a final babe photo, this one from a beach volleyball match between Brazil and Germany (at least that was the caption):

There are six ocean storms, with Typhoon Haikiu getting ready to make landfall sufficiently south of Shanghai and to be Hurricane Ernesto two days from slamming into the Yucatan Peninsula:


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