With day 10 of this year’s Olympic Games upon us, there is no better time to do a little recap of the best and worst aspects of the games thus far. Whether you were glued to the swimming events or went into heat as the track events got underway, there have certainly been numerous feats of triumph that have captivated us, as well as countless moments we hope to soon forget.
What we loved:
The Most Decorated Olympian Ever – By this time you should already know that Michael Phelps has successfully surpassed former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina to become the most decorated Olympic athlete to date with 22 medals (18 of which are gold). Cementing his place in history with a record that on all accounts may not be broken within this lifetime, Phelps has surely mesmerized us with his Herculean performance throughout the past decade. Even though he has firmly stated that he will not be competing in Rio 2016 we will certainly be seeing a lot more of the swimmer with the host of endorsements that are sure to follow, and his supposed interest inHollywood.
The Flying Squirrel – With her gold medal performance in the women’s all around competition, the 16 year old Gabby Douglas certainly flipped, flew, and floor exercised her way into the hearts and minds of fans the world over. After helping the ‘Fab-five’ win gold in the team all-around finals, Douglas went on to make a statement as she became the first African-American and fourth U.S. winner of the marquee women’s gymnastic event. Despite an ongoing debate about the Gabby’s ‘hair’ at the events, the youngster has handled the achievement with great poise and we can certainly expect great things for her in the near future.
Bolt – Lightning struck twice as the entire world collectively held their breath for 9.63 seconds while the world’s fastest man, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, once again turned in an electrifying performance in the Men’s 100 meter final. Not only did Bolt’s performance mirror what he did in Beijing, but it proved that in the world of track and field there is no athlete, at present, who performs better under the overwhelming pressure of the lights, the cameras, and the fans! As the track and field events continue this week, you can bet your bottom dollar that all eyes will be on the upcoming Men’s 200 meter and relay events.
“Blade Runner” – The South African runner Oscar Pistorious failed to make the final in the Men’s 400 meter event. However, by making it to the semi-finals of the event he has certainly become one of the standout athletes of the games – serving as an inspiration for Olympic hopefuls the world over. If by now you don’t know – Pistorious is a double amputee who runs on carbon fiber blades (hence the nickname ‘blade runner’). No stranger to major events, Pistorious was a member ofSouth Africa’s silver medal team in the 4×400 relay at the 2011 World Championships and also plans to run in the heats for the same event this Thursday.
What we hated:
NBC – Yes I said it! NBC! And while hate may be too strong a word, it is fitting to say that NBC’s coverage of this year’s games has been wanting. Part of what makes the Olympics so special is being able to share in the excitement as the drama unfolds – with the entire world. The fact that London is ahead of us on the East Coast by roughly 5 hours presents a difficult situation for NBC. The only alternative some of us have to watch the games live is to stream online – and as can be expected this service can become botchy as more users flock to the website.
Spoiler Alert – Coupled with NBC’s delayed coverage of major events, many of us have been victims of unsuspected spoilers. Whether from the social media updates of friends (some of which were momentarily ‘unfriended’), or the headlines of the homepage of our browsers, many of us were robbed of the joy and suspense of key Olympic moments.
Twitter Tantrums – While social media may have been many things to many people over recent years, it has certainly been a thorn in my side since July 27th. Not only have thoughtless updates and tweets ruined the suspense of certain marquee events for me but for many athletes and officials they have been a nuisance as well. In a recent post I mentioned that Twitter will inevitably cause more athletes to be expelled from the games, and I was right. Our second twitter casualty of these games is none other than Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella who made tasteless comments about South Koreans one day after his team lost to them.
I’m certain that my list in no way covers many of the additional stories and events that have surrounded the London Olympics. Sound off below with what you have most liked or disliked about London 2012…so far.