I watched a good deal of the sweat, struggle and crushing loss over the weekend. The badminton players who lunge, swat and dink with a surprising ferocity. The beach-volleyball players who have mastered the vertical arts: strategically falling down and leaping straight into the air. NBA stars so unencumbered by any real threat that they looked like they were hosting a fast-break/dunk class. Michael Phelps swimming with such speed and grace he made that electronically added green line indicating the world-record mark look like one more helpless competitor. Gymnasts who make summer-movie superheroes seem pathetically uncoordinated. I know there’s a synchronized swimming competition, but can 15,000 Chinese be given gold medals for a synchronized opening ceremony? Wow. There was a lot to drop your jaw over. But what about the guy who lost in that big race four years ago, saw his chances to vie again for U.S. glory be eliminated in the preliminaries this year, and then saw all he’d achieved be stripped away by ignominy? On Nightline Friday, John Edwards got his moment in front of the cameras to explain his extramarital affair in a nerve-racking, televised heat that surely would have made many real Olympians quake. However you think he did, it’s safe to say that this once silver-tongued, enviously bronzed golden boy of American politics may now forever be known for — if not a doping scandal — a dopey one.