Tuesday, August 14, 2012

London Olympics, closing statement

The steam of excitement for these Olympic Games started to burn a year ago. I just wanted to jump time and be in August 2012. Naturally, it’s the Olympics and time just fly away and now it’s all over.
I love sports and athletes and I'm often good at practising them (not that it matters here!) so I decided long ago to be fully committed to this amazing event since I had a rare opportunity in time to follow it this way. I can surely be truly committed to something because for the past couple of weeks, like my friend once said, I became a vegetable. My mom couldn’t look at the TV anymore because all she saw was sports. I haven’t seen a film or anything else since (or maybe I lie, I watched an episode of Doctor Who, only Billie Piper had that power in me).

The Opening Ceremony! I was so excited that I loved everything about it, and the fact that I was free of comparing it with previous ones was even better. It’s about different cultures, different mentalities, and different times. The highlight of the evening, for me, was The Queen saying, “Good morning, Mr. Bond”. I couldn’t believe it.

With the official Day One came the first preliminary day of Swimming, to what would be one of the most exciting periods of the Olympics, personally. It was the most nerve wracking evenings. The United States of America are the biggest entourage and the most promising. Actually this first morning started with huge upsets and they kept happening later, in the evening. Laszlo Cseh didn’t make it to the finals and Michael Phelps didn’t get to his first medal. But gladly, surprises kept happening and the days started to move faster.

I kind of blocked the media and the dramas (as in gossips) outside the sports but I did notice a couple of things. There are the drug abuses. There is the badminton issue. The Greek racist joke. Tom Daley, the young British world champ, suffered some disrespectful tweets about his personal life. I don’t understand but people look at Allison Schmitt and call her retarded. Tennis players had issues because of Wimbledon traditions, they wanted to eat breakfast at twelve at the All England Club, go figure!

Apart from these usual upsets it was a pretty positive tournament! The crowd, for once, was overwhelming. The women issue, being that these Olympics marked an historic take on that one. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei entered female athletes for the first time. With women's boxing included as an event, the Games became the first at which every sport included female competitors. More than thirty world records were broken, including nine in swimming (including six by United States alone).

It’s time to sing Born in the USA… 104 medals for United States followed by China and Russia (England had more gold than Russia I know). I just wanted to make sure of the trio USA-Russia-China…

The Sports!

Beach Volleyball – Such a pity to watch this on TV, it’s one of those sports you really wanna be there…it’s the team effort, you can sense that much better…

Personally, one of my biggest upsets. Andy F*** *** Murray. But sure, congratulations.

His first Career failure – James Magnussen.

My G** Moment – I prefer this Camille (Muffat) over the other Camille (Lacourt).

Let's praise for these Olympic mothers, all the mothers really.

About Soccer (in my town football)...

I have this hate relation with football. In my country there’s only this sport, nothing else exists, so I can’t bare that to the point I don’t see one national game for the entire season, football annoys me on a regular bases. I’m a football expert without any effort.  But last year, I got an addiction. That addiction is called Women’s Soccer/Football. Through the World Cup, I got amazed by their fight, especially the way they played until the last minute of each game. It didn’t matter if they were winning by three to zero and then that final game, United States against Japan was one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of football games.  

I don't know who did this, but yeah.

In these Olympics, after that Semi Final (which I died several times) comes the so awaited final with no one less than United States and Japan. It was the moment. It has been a year since that meltdown, that emotional rollercoaster.

Ok, my life is over now, I thought as the medals were given to the United States of America. You know, sometimes I find attachments and meanings in the most inappropriate ways and in this case, with this game, with this win. In my side, it means a new road ahead and challenging new days but also means not giving up. It’s about having hope. I think I’ll be thinking about this game for some time.

Women’s Soccer is recent history, it’s exciting and it’s way worthier. And if there’s someone you should praise that someone is Christie Rampone. She’s that role model. Mother of two girls, she’s been through four World Cups never under third place, she’s been to four consecutive Olympic Games with three golds and one silver medal; the 37 year old captain of the United States national soccer team spent every minute of every game of these Olympic Games in the field, she fought, she carried the weight in the defense with her colleagues and she only stopped with the gold in her hands. Through her career, she played alongside to one Mia Hamm, to Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Brandi Chastain, to the newest stars such as Kelley O’Hara and finally Hope Solo. The game against Japan was her last game.

Then there's this.
What’s wrong with these people?! Anyway, I think swimmers win this one!

Some other Olympic Moments:

Watching the Olympics is rooting for other countries, it’s specially looking at different cultures; the way a European compliments his Asian opponent in the podium with two kisses and how unfamiliar they behave. It’s looking at the twenty two Olympic medals Michael Phelps collected through eight years while other countries got that number in one hundred years of Olympics, not to mention nations with only one or two, like Afghanistan. It’s looking at those runners from Africa and having constantly that thought of the history behind it, of all the children, the students that run kilometers to go to school. It’s hearing the United States’ Anthem at least three times a day. It’s maybe the inability to not hold a tear with those who can’t control the tears once they see their flags at the highest level and what they’ve been through to reach that sight. 

We all know that sports aren’t just about exercising, with Olympics you remember that vividly. It’s really a lot of things put together. For those kids who are these days swimming for four hours a day, running, fighting, jumping, I would tell them they’re lucky. They’re really lucky to be doing that, even if they don’t have the time or energy to go see The Dark Knight to the theaters. Don’t ever take those four hours looking at the line in the bottom of the pool for granted but also don’t take it too serious. Be involved and care about what you do, learn about your sport, be aware, look at these top athletes and learn a lot, it’s all worth it. And again, you’re really lucky. And I guess this applies to pretty much everything else, right?

You know what, I’m looking forward to four years from now, I believe it’s going to be an absolute blast. Absolutely awesome! If there are people who know how to have fun those people are the Brazilians. It’s going to be one hell of a party. But anyway, if you were amazed by the glorious achievements of these athletes wait for the Paralympics Games.

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