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Olympic fever still going strong

August 8, 2012 - Pam Rodgers

I have been loving watching the Olympics this year. Now that the Games of the XXX Olympiad are well into its final week of competition, it is still exciting to turn on prime time every night (even if I already know the results because I checked online during the day).

The highlights so far has been swimming and gymnastics. I am willing to admit that the only time I watch either of these sports is when the summer Olympics roll around. The way I see it, it just makes the Olympic experience that much more enjoyable for me.

The biggest news in the pool has been Michael Phelps. Every American should at least know his name and a little about what he has done. Winning 22 medals is so impressive! However, it has been more fun for me to watch the budding star, Missy Franklin at the aquatic center. It’s hard to believe that she is only 17 years old and about to start her senior year of high school. It’s been fun to watch her win all of her medals. Now that her races are over, I find myself already looking forward to Rio in 2016.

Watching gymnastics at the Olympics is also a treat for me. I can still remember being 9-years-old and watching the U.S. women, “The Magnificent 7” win gold in Atlanta. Watching the “Fab Five” this year brought back all those memories. While there was no epic final vault that sealed the gold medal*, watching Aly Raisman become emotional as she completed her clean floor routine had a similar effect.

Now as “athletics” picks up, it brings back memories of my collegiate track and field days. Of course we weren’t quite on the same scale as the Olympians but Wartburg Track and Field were pretty dominant on its own playing field. Watching the men and women’s 100 meter dash is always a must see as well as the 400 and 200 meters.

I have a great appreciation for the throwers. Seeing Hungary’s Krisztian Pars throw the hammer 80.59 meters (264.40 feet) is so impressive. The throwing events may not get the glory that the runners receive but it’s exciting for me, especially knowing how difficult it is.

The next big thing, for me at least, is to watch Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor go for their third straight gold. In every match they have found a way to win. It’s great to get to see those two play together one last time. Today’s gold medal match between fellow American’s April Ross and Jennifer Kessy should be a treat for the games. UPDATE: They did it! I just watched the match and Kerri and Misty were able to three-peat as Olympic Gold medalists. What a match!

The basketball teams speak for themselves. With all of the all-stars playing on each squad, every game is exciting when they step on the court. I hope they both live up their golden expectation.

I could go on and on about the Olympics (I’m pretty sure I already have at this point). It’s hard to talk about everything because there is just so much going on. Even if the highly anticipated events aren’t being shown, I find myself watching events that I had no idea were a part of the Olympics (team pursuit cycling anyone?). Or watch sports I never thought I would: handball, fencing and even a bit of badminton (huge scandal there!). In any case, I’m addicted and don’t plan on doing anything about it.

It will be sad when the Olympics wrap up this year. I will be anxiously awaiting the next games to see Team USA compete once more!


*Well actually the vault wasn’t needed to win the gold, but the team didn’t know it at the time, and Kerri Strug will still remain an Olympic legend forever.



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