The Olympics Close On A High Note!
What a week! What an Olympics!
The Olympics might be a peripheral part of our daily life -- 15 days out of 4 years of our hectic schedules. Yet for these remarkable 15 days, London took center stage on one of the most glorious Olympics of all time, maintaining a clean image as well as providing exciting competition in all events.
The Closing Ceremony on Sunday paid tribute to the spirit of the Games, the volunteers, the crowd, and the athletes themselves. Fireworks lit up the London skyline, as the Olympic flame, ready to change hands yet again, burned brighter than ever in memory of a memorable Games. Athletes stood together as one – the flags may have been flying separately, but from far off, it was a medley of color, a symbol of togetherness that the Olympic provides so well. Artists from old and new, country and rock, brought voices to the Olympic spirit.
OK, back to sports -- and athletics!
So many events wrapped up this week, so again, I’ll only highlight the major sporting events that were won and lost.
There was athletics. The full spectrum of track and field wrapped up this week. And the keyword, for the second straight Olympics, was Bolt! The runner from Jamaica now claims legendary status after again triumphing in the 100 and 200 m events, with stunning times that just fell short of his Beijing success. On the women’s side, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce cemented her title as fastest female flyer in the world, finishing in under 11 seconds. The US dominated the relays, but the Bahamas, as well as Jamaica, struck gold in a few medleys too.
A lot of events happened in the field side of track and field, which I find not many people pay attention to. Greg Rutherford and Britney Reese claimed gold in the long jumps with spectacular leaps that came very close to the world records. Sally Pearson and Aries Merritt hurdled to gold in the 110 m hurdles.
It takes a lot to upstage Bolt. But David Rudisha, with his record-shattering 800 m dash, and Mo Farah, with his supremely executed 5000 m and 10000 m wins, may have just done it.
Football proved to be the platform for some bewildering upsets. For one, Spain and Uruguay, widely acclaimed as two Olympic favorites, did not even find their way out of the group stage. Great Britain fell in the quarters to upstart South Korea, and the final left the two best teams on center stage – Brazil and Mexico. In yet another upset, Mexico denied Brazil a first Olympic gold with a 2-1 victory. Mexico were undoubtedly the better team throughout the 90 minutes, and even a late Brazil goal could not obstruct their path to victory.
On the women’s side, the US extracted fitting revenge over Japan from the World Cup final in 2011, winning a hat-trick of Olympic golds and extending Japan’s football disappointment.
Boxing and wrestling came to an end along with the rest of the Olympics. A few heroes emerged, such as India’s Sushil Kumar, Britain’s Antony Joshua, China’s Zou Shimig, and many others. In the end it was Russia who dominated in wrestling, and Great Britain in boxing. Volleyball also has winners, with Russia stunning Brazil in the men's and Brazil beating US in the women's. The Netherlands dominated hockey, winning the women's competition and coming in second to Germany in the men's.
Well, that’s it from me. What a whirlwind trip it was through so many sports! I think the one-word message everyone should take away from the Olympics is – Unity. Togetherness. The spirit of cooperation. Because remember, the Olympics is a lot more than just a sport!