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Swim Team USA - AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

Last night the American swim team won the gold medal in the Men's 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay in a fantastic finish that completed without a doubt one of the greatest comebacks that I have ever personally witnessed in a sporting event.

The win was made even sweeter due to that fact that we beat the French team - who were amazing in their own right - after a member of the French team named Alain Bernard decided that it would be a good idea to make comments stating that he and his team would smash the team from the USA.

Swim Team USA was behind from the very beginning and for the majority of the match, with Australia's Eamon Sullivan breaking the world record to start his team off, while Team USA's Michael Phelps broke the American record in the opening leg as well.

The USA briefly took the lead after Phelps finished with the swimming of Garrett Weber-Gale, but gave it up during the third leg of the race as the French team was simply much too fast for American swimmer Cullen Jones.

 

Jason Lezak, Hero - AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

That's when it happened: After Jones finished veteran American swimmer Jason Lezak dove into the pool when it looked like the French team had the gold medal all but locked going into the final leg with world-record-holding trash-talking Frenchman Alain Bernard as their anchor swimmer.

Even the American announcers seemed to think that there was little hope for Swim Team USA, hoping that team USA could hold on to the silver at least. Jason Lezak was simply too slow, too old to win, the amount of time that he had to make up was just too great they said, there was little confidence in Jason Lezak and little hope for Swim Team USA to bring the gold back home.

During the first 50 metres it didn't seem that Lezak was making up much ground on the speedy Bernard, but then in the last 50 metres it seemed like Lezak was unstoppable, overcoming a nearly full length deficit with his amazing 46.06 second final leg for a .08 second win over the French team.

 

Michael Phelps Cheering

It was truly great to watch. The entire American team was just fantastic and Jason Lezak is an absolute hero for his amazing anchor leg of the race. It easily ranks as one of the greatest performances that I have ever seen in any sport.

Five teams broke the previous world record, which was set by the USA earlier in the day: Sweden, Italy, Australia, France, and of course the gold medalist United States team. Every team that participated broke the previous Olympic record, which is another amazing statistic and shows the level of competition in the event.



Here's a link to the video from the event on the NBC Olympic website. You'll have to install Microsoft's Silverlight browser plugin if you use Firefox, but it's well worth it. The video is absolutely stunning:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=0811_HD_SWB_HL_L0194

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