Most Memorable 2012 London Olympic Moments

I love the Olympics and have faithfully watched the broadcasts every 2 years for as long as I can remember.  This go round, I watched as much as I could, but unfortunately was not able to catch all of the events.  I didn’t see a wrestling match, or do they call it grappling?  I am sick to death that I did not see the ping pong and badminton matches – strange name for a sport, isn’t it, badminton –  but I hear there was some cheating going on.  No, not doping allegations, just strategic losing to gain an advantage – this is like anti-doping. I didn’t see the dodge ball and handball competitions.  Wait, isn’t a handball a penalty in soccer?  Excuse me, I meant to say football, ok, futbol. I didn’t see any boxing and weightlifting, which, to my knowledge, didn’t make the prime time broadcasts, but they may have had their own channels.  And whatever happened to Olympic Cliff diving?  GB has some great cliffs.  But I digress.  Here are the moments in my view for which the 2012 London Olympics will be remembered:

  • Usain Bolt:  Still the fastest human alive and 3 Golds richer.
  • Aliyson Felix:  Finally got her Gold in the 200 and 2 more in relays, including a world record in the 4 x100.
  • Gabby Douglas: World’s best female gymnast.
  • Manteo Mitchell:  Broke his leg on a leg of the 4×400 relay, but managed to finish helping the US qualify for the finals.
  • Oscar Pistorius: Ran competitively on carbon fiber blades
  • Mo Farah the British runner of Samali origin did the impossible winning the 5 and 10,000 meter runs.
  • 10 meter platform finals:  What a finish – USA, China, Great Britain.  David Boudia won the Gold, ending a 24 year medal drought in individual events by American male divers.  The favorite, Qui Bo, finished a very close second and crowd favorite Brit Thomas Daley finished strong and took bronze and a celebratory pool plunge with team GB.
  • Michael Phelps:  Still the world’s fastest swimmer and arguably the greatest Olympian of all-time.
  • The golden women of team USA:   swimming and track relays, basketball, water (marco) polo, gymnastics, beach volleyball, rowing and soccer.  Domination.
  • Events that should be in the X Games, not the Olympics:  BMX bike racing and beach volleyball.  You know it’s X gamey when an athlete gives an interview wearing a Red Bull cap.
  • Picnic and arcade games that are not sports:  If badminton and ping pong are allowable, why not frisbee golf, fooseball, pinball, dodgeball, kick-the-can, twister and croquet in Rio.  In fact, I demand it!
  • An explosion of athletes wearing kinesio tape: The stuff looks like leaches from the Thames or British sea slugs from the Isles of Man or Wight, one.
  • Edible Medals: All the athletes were eating their medals which I believe were actually foil wrapped chocolates.
  • The Brits:  The host country won 65 medals, 4th best and with 29 Golds, 3rd behind China and the U.S.  Down under in 2008, team GB won 47 medals, 19 Golds.

Congratulations London and team GB on a job well done!  Cheers!

Random Olympic Musings

In the equestrian events, do the horses of the winning riders receive a medal or any kind of special recognition or treat? Do the horses take part in the medal ceremonies?

I’m watching a field hockey match (for the first time) between the Netherlands and Germany. It’s been a great match – it has gone to penalty strokes. What troubles or fascinates me is the fact that the players have to bend their backs for most of the match as they move the ball along, pass, receive and shoot. Isn’t this extraordinarily uncomfortable? Field hockey players must have super strong back and abdominal muscles. I wouldn’t last a minute in that position – I don’t think I’d be able straighten up.

I watched the semifinal women’s handball match between Norway and Korea. Wow, what a close match! Norway pulled out a last second win with a spectacular goal after Korea had come from beyond to tie the game. I’m new to handball and was wondering if the court is padded? A lot of the players hit the court pretty hard after a shot. Also, what is the ball like? Is it soft and bouncy. How does it compare to a soccer ball?

In diving, I wonder if a diver has ever just said to heck with it all and performed a cannonball instead of a 3 and half with 2 twists?

Why isn’t golf an Olympic sport?

Why did the IOC vote to eliminate softball and baseball from the next Olympics? Any argument of USA domination no longer holds after team USA lost to an excellent Japanese team in the softball gold medal match. Baseball games in these Olympics have been competitive, and teams from the Americas have not dominated. Korea, in fact, has been the dominant team going 7-0 to date.

Has there been any talk of eliminating hurdles from track and field? I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but it seems that hurdlers suffer a disproportionate amount of injury compared to other runners.

In a pole vaulting event, has a pole ever snapped in two during a vault? I seem to remember seeing or hearing of such an accident. Assuming the athlete was not injured, would the vaulter be disqualified, or allowed another vault?

As reported in today’s Times Online, IOC president Jacques Rogge criticized Usain Bolt for disrespecting his competitors after his gold medal world record breaking performances in the 100 and 200 meter runs. Please! Every athlete expresses emotion and does some sort of victory lap drapped in a flag. Is he really expected to acknowledge each of his competitors? It is an individual race – not a team competition with the obligatory handshake line. After the race, the runners are spread out along the track anyway so logistically it would be unrealistic for him to find everybody for a handshake, hug or even to just say good race. He didn’t break any rules. And after his earth shattering performances, he earned the right to celebrate as he did.