Monday, August 20, 2012

Olympic Highlights

 It’s been a week since the Olympics ended, and I thought I should gather all my thoughts together and create a big post on what I thought were some of the biggest highlights from the games. It was certainly a pleasure to watch all these athletes compete because they really put on a great show.


Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time. With 22 Olympic medals, 18 were gold, 2 were silver, and 2 were bronze. He has the most Olympic medals, most earned in a single Olympics, which is 8 from his 2008 journey (all gold). He said that this was his last Olympics. Many people certainly doubt this and he will return in Rio. I remain hopeful, but that is his choice to make. For some people it’s hard to walk away from a sport they love. Phelps make a legacy out of himself, and I’m going to remember that.
 

 







 


          


Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky both made names for themselves at these Olympics. Missy Franklin set the world record in the 200m backstroke, and won 5 medals (4 gold, 1 bronze), making her second to Michael Phelps with most medals at the games. At 17, she has a whole career ahead of her, and what makes the bigger headline is that she has refused endorsements in order to swim in high school and college levels. Katie Ledecky is the youngest member of the entire U.S. Olympic team. Only 15, she set the American record in the 800m freestyle and won gold. These two athletes are certainly the upbringing of a great young generation.


Third time’s a charm for Allyson Felix. After all the controversy with the 100m dead heat at the U.S. Trials, she finally won a gold in her best event, the 200m. She said that running the 100m always helped her with the 200m, and it certainly did. After finishing with two silvers in the event, she earned the gold, along with a 4x100m WR, and a 4x400m gold medal. Well done Allyson.


Apparently lightning CAN strike twice in the same place. Usain Bolt has proven that. He became the first Olympian to successfully defend his Olympic title in a sprint event since Carl Lewis in 1988. The 100m he set a new Olympic record and then followed up with a 200m win and a 4x100m world record. The fastest man on the planet continues to electrify the world, and at next year’s World Championships, he is sure to do so once again.


Great Britain’s golden girl has made headlines all over the world. Jessica Ennis won the Heptathlon at the Olympic Games to start off the track and field portion and she did it in stunning fashion. Hearing the crowd cheer for her at every moment was certainly exciting.


The “Mobot”. Mo Farah that is certainly the correct way to celebrate after being the first British athlete to complete a double victory in the 5000m and the 10000m. Both the races were great to watch because how the race played out went in his favor. Mo is known for a great finishing kick, as is Bernard Lagat, and once that last 400m came and he was in the perfect position, Mo went for gold, twice.


Oscar Pistorius made Olympic history. He is the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics against able bodied runners, and it’s certainly something to remember. He was able to compete in the individual 400m semifinals, where he did not qualify for the final. He also ran in the 4x400m final as the anchor. It’s truly something to be grateful for, and I am grateful to have watched him run.


Last but not least, the queens of volleyball. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings completed the three-peat at the Olympic Games, defeating their compatriots, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross. I’ve been watching these two since their first Olympic gold in 2004, and to see their third one is just great. Although Misty is retiring from the sport, Kerri wants a 4th Olympic gold in Rio. We will just have to find out how this plays.

Well, this has been definitely an exciting post to write. I know everyone else has a different opinion about their biggest Olympic highlights. I left out Gymnastics because I actually didn’t watch any of it, even though Aly Raisman, and MA native was in it. She’s from Needham and trains in Burlington, which is really cool, but I won’t write about any sporting event that I haven’t watched, and I didn’t pay attention to much of the gymnastics portion of it. If you do get to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading the rest of it.