Final Olympic Thoughts
The Olympics were, as always, a fantastic two week spectacle of sport. Seeing the performance of these athletes, the tension of the events, was such a joy. There’s nothing better in all of sports that to see the looks on the athletes’ faces in the big moments. The agony of defeat, the joy of victory — it’s as compelling a situation to view as any. I’m very proud of all our American representatives, both those who succeeded and those who didn’t.
I don’t want to pick one as my favorite event, for it would do a disservice to the varied many that I truly enjoyed. From the gymnastics to the volleyball, the swimming to the track and field, every event seemed to bring a newer level of tension and a greater level of performance. The men’s basketball didn’t bring as great a level of uneasiness because of their incredible expectations. It wasn’t as up in the air, but it was still a great joy to watch. For those 12 unbelievable talents to come together and play as one–to have such joy playing together–was a testament to the incredible job done by Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K had those guys attention, their utmost respect. To bring those players, with those egos, together as one is a job few, if any could pull off.
I would also like to congratulate our Women’s Soccer Team. Those last two matches provided so many pressure-packed moments I could barely keep still. I jumped in excitement when Alex Morgan put that header in the back of the net in the 122nd minute of their semifinal math versus Canada. And I watched in amazement when Carly Lloyd buried two goals in the final to overcome the team from Japan that beat them in the World Cup Final last summer. Phenomenal job by those ladies, and by all the women who shined so brightly in London for Team USA.
I enjoyed every moment of Usain Bolt performing for us all on the track. He has so much joy out there that he reminds you of a kid with all that enthusiasm. His showmanship was unrivaled, the way he owned every part of that Olympic Stadium. And when it came time to perform, the man stepped up in a way we haven’t seen before. He came to win in every race, and channeled all that childish joy into the performance of a lifetime. As much as I was rooting for our US runners in each of those races, it was fun to see how much Bot connected with the American audience. Having his fellow countryman Johan Blake there to challenge him certainly raised his performance another level, similar to how Ryan Lochte’s presence helped push the great American swimmer Michael Phelps to unseen heights. Few more word need to be said about Phelps, whose resurgence in his last few races just showed incredible heart and fighting spirit. He overcame his early failures to return to the top and set a new mark in Olympic Medal history. Well done Michael Phelps, and congratulations to all our American representatives.
Finally, I’d like to congratulate London on a job well done. Despite my frequent travels this week, I was able to watch every night. I was so impressed by the venues, the crowds, the atmosphere, everything. The two weeks were special, arguably the two best in sports. The backdrop of the incredible city of London provided captivating scenery, as the people of England and all those on hand provided cheers representative of why they received these Olympic Games. The closing ceremonies were a joy to watch, as all those legendary English musicians performed with such passion and excitement throughout those few hours. I was thoroughly impressed, and will miss these two weeks immensely. Well done, London, and all those Olympic competitors from throughout the world. It was a great two weeks, now lets get ready for some Football!!!