Alon Mandel at the Beijing OlmypicsSomething inspiring happened at the Water Cube at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and it had nothing to do with Michael Phelps. In a men's 200 meter butterfly preliminary heat, Israeli swimmer Alon Mandel stepped up to the blocks, blocked out all distractions, focused all his energy, and dove into the water. He proceeded to swim faster than any Israeli had ever swam the 200 meter butterfly. What's inspiring is that Mandel, a junior at the University of Michigan, did it with a heavy heart. His father, Kostya, passed away just two days before the opening ceremony.