For 17 days straight, I had my TV on pretty much all day, and it was only on three channels, CTV, TSN or Sportsnet. I literally could not get enough of the summer Olympics. For days after the closing ceremony I felt lost, even my 16 month old son would stare at the dark screen, then look at me, and back at the dark screen in total confusion. Together we watched Michael Phelps win his 22nd Olympic medal and Usain Bolt break world records (when he didn’t slow down as he crossed the finished line that is). Together, we would play Olympics where we would have races and he would win, of course. We even had a medal ceremony, where I would place one of my running medals around his neck. We would then sing the national anthem – well I would, he is only 16 months after all and can barely put two words together, let alone sing the Canadian national anthem.
From a very early age I loved watching the Olympics. I would watch the athletes in awe and I would dream about one day representing my country. Since I was a strong swimmer and would beat my brother in swimming races (don’t bring that up with him, he will totally deny it), I always saw myself doing the breast stroke….sigh. While I always enjoy watching as many sports as I can, my favourites were swimming, track and gymnastics. My brother and I even loved playing the Summer Olympic game on the Commodore 64. Remember it? Summer Games, by Epyx. For those of you that are now thinking I am a senior citizen because they are way too young to know what the Commodore 64 was….please take a gander at this: 80’s rocks . We would spend hours perfecting our moves on the joystick, and I became quite the high jump expert in that game.
There were so many memorable moments for me at these Games.
Men’s Triathlon: Alistair Brownlee from Team GB winning Gold with an amazing run time 29.07…29.07 for 10k! After the swimming and the biking! That is crazy insane, that is what you call dedication to your sport. Sadly Canadian Simon Whitfield did not finish the race as he had an unfortunate accident once he got on his bike. Despite that Canadian disappointment, it was incredible to watch Brownlee compete so hard.
Women’s Triathlon: It was heartbreaking to watch Paula Findlay finish last and then break down into tears and apologize for her performance, but I take my hat off to her for pushing through her pain (both mental and physical) to finish the race. No apologies necessary in my books, she’s at the Olympics, she is one of the best in the world!
Men’s 4×100 relay: First off, everyone’s eyes were on Jamaica for this race because let’s be honest, we all wanted to see Bolt run as anchor for this team and set a new world record. I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken to that said that they didn’t even see Canada finish third. It wasn’t until they announced that we got the bronze that people took notice. What came next was devastating, a replay showing that Jared Connaughton stepped on the line before handing off the baton, which meant Canada was disqualified after celebrating for about 5 minutes. I have to hand it to Connaughton, he owned his mistake and feels pretty horrible about what happened to his team as a result.
Usain Bolt: Winning. Every. Single. Race. No other words needed.
Women’s soccer: Christine Sinclair rocks, just keeping it real, she is amazing. Don’t even get me started on the game against the U.S.A. Everyone has an opinion on the Norwegian referee that made some – let’s say interesting calls. What that ref can’t take away though, is the women played hard in that game and it was by far one of the most intense soccer (football if you’re a Brit) games I have ever watched. They could have fallen apart completely as a team, but they came back and won the bronze. Let’s all be honest for a moment though, in the Canada – France game, France was the stronger the team, but the Canadian women were like an annoying kid brother, they were stubborn and fought. I need to take a moment to write about the U.S women’s soccer team and their total lack of class when they won gold. For those that don’t know what I am talking about – see the photo below, when they did their victory lap while donning new t-shirts that read “Greatness has been found”. Now I’m sure they were handed the shirts to wear, so the fault can’t fall completely on the women, but come on U.S.A! It’s called humility. Humble, classy, any of these words sound familiar? We all know you won the gold, including your opponents, we were all there. Celebrate yes of course, but there is no need to gloat. It’s pretty darn ugly to be like that.
Women’s Trampoline: Three words – Rosie MacLennan, gold. That is all.
There you have it, my brief opinions on the summer games. Only 523 days till the winter games, who’s excited??
Are you a fan of the Olympics? If so, what’s your favourite sport to watch?