Well, the Summer Olympics are over. It's been a great two and a half weeks. The couch has permanent bum marks from people not leaving it since the games started. I think back to the first Olympics I really got into. It was the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California 1984. I remember so many things from then. Mary Lou Retton, Peter Vidmar, Carl Lewis, Flo Jo, the new rhythmic gymnastics, and the list goes on and on. I fell in love with the games then and it was fun to see my children gain an appreciation for the games, the athletes and all their years of hard work and dedication. The kids loved gymnastics, swimming and track just as I do. But you can't watch the Olympics and not have respect for every sport. Well, except for Eguiques;lkj;trian. We all came to a conclusion that that isn't a sport at all. D even suggested that they might as well let peoples gerbils get out and run over fences. It was pretty funny hearing him say that. Time and time again I might add.
This years games were no exception. We loved watching the diving. Man those Chinese never spash on their entries. We just don't get it. And those Jamaican sprinters? They were crazy fast. We had to rent "the Jamaican Bob Sled Team" off of Amazon after watching them run. The Russians are always great gymnasts and the Kenyans kill it on the long distances. But....
Our team, The United States of America, rocked it!! The kids had fun watching the medal count daily and were thrilled when we finally pulled way ahead of China on the final count. Our swimmers dominated and Michael Phelps didn't let us down. We saw that he was a real person on his first race, not even making the final heat, but then he continued to pull down medal after medal as the days went by. J and his friend played as though they were Michael Phelps each time they would swim by adjusting their goggles and doing his trademark butterfly swinging of the arms. We continued to see world records broken by several of our swimmers. It was awesome. And gymnastics? Gabby Douglas will be the Mary Lou Retton for the next twenty years bringing home the gold all around along with the womens team gold. You have to love her smile. Our track runners broke records, earned medals and did heroic races. One runner ran his leg of the 4x4 and heard his leg snap. He continued to run making sure not to let his team down, finding out later that he had broken his fibula. Beach volleyball was great seeing Misty May-Trainer and Carrie Walsh win their third gold medal over the last twelve years. They definitely didn't let down. And our men's basketball team, oh ya, we won it all.
It didn't matter who it was or what country they were from, when they held up their flag above their heads or draped over their shoulders after being declared winner, you couldn't help but get emotional. Those athletes have worked so hard preparing for that chance of being an Olympian and it was neat seeing their dreams come true. But with seeing some dreams come true, you also saw disappointments. Some runners' heels were clipped by another run and they fell down, others just had "off" days. You could see their disappointment or tears and you just wanted to cry for them. That's when you would just hope that they could feel our support for them as athletes. Fortunately we love, embrace and support all of our athletes win or lose. But it was hard knowing that all countries don't do that. That some athletes would return to their country by walking home, or not be recognized, or even treated badly. That's where I'd like to say that I am proud to be an American. Our country isn't perfect, but we come together to support and cheer on our athletes in the games.
The kids are already asking when the Winter Games are in 2014. That makes me happy. We'll have some great lifetime memories of the London Olympics twenty twelve.
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