Olympics: First Week In Review
London is set on fire by a dazzling opening ceremony. The “Greatest City in the World” plays host to a brilliant spectacle celebrating Britain’s rich tradition and the togetherness the world shares during the gigantic sporting event.
One could say that the Olympics are more than sport. I would agree, but this review will deal with sport and sport only – the history, tradition, and spirit of the Games having been covered in last week’s piece.
Well, the Games are now a week in, and what an action-packed week it was! We saw a slew of sports take place in several infamous venues across London. To describe every “golded” event so far would take a Herculean effort, but there were some major highlights that are worth explaining.
Well, for one, records were shattered in the pool! Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian of all time, shattering the previous record – a staggering 21 medals, 17 gold and counting! It was a bittersweet moment, however, for Phelps, as Chad Le Clos piped him for gold in his beloved 200 m butterfly. We’ll have to see how he progresses after winning a couple of golds in the 100 m butterfly and 200 m medley events.
Table tennis and badminton also wrapped up this weekend. In men’s badminton, a thrilling 79-minute final was played between the incredibly talented Malaysian Lee Chong Wei and his more illustrious compatriot Lin Dan of China. In the end, Lin Dan prevailed with a 21-19 score in the last set. Chinese domination continued in the women’s badminton as third seed Li Xierui saw off her countryman Wan Yihan. India’s golden girl, Saina Nehwal, took the bronze after another Chinese was forced to retire after an injury.
Speaking of badminton, there was a huge scandal that sparked a equally huge controversy as players “threw” matches. Claiming to be injured and wanting to conserve energy, the players purposely hit shots long or into the net. Much speculation has arisen over whether the players voluntarily lost their matches to get a better draw in their knockout matches. Unfortunately, there’s no sport without scandal.
Table tennis saw more Chinese domination as Zhang Jike claimed gold in the men’s, and Li Xiaoxia took gold in the women’s. China now attempts to make a clean sweep of the table tennis medals in the team events.
Athletics is in full swing at the moment, as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her 100 m title to be crowned the fastest woman in the world. She shared the spotlight with Jessica Ennis, Britain’s athletics sweetheart, who won the heptathlon – the ultimate test of human versatility and endurance.
So the medal count currently stands at: China 58, US 56, Great Britain 34.
That’s the week’s roundup. Sport, surprise, scandal all made themselves headline news in this first week of the Olympics. Here’s for an exciting second week. A toast to the Olympics!