Sunday, August 24, 2008
Moving On from Beijing... Beatles style..
The Olympics have come and gone once again. There were ups, downs, joy and tears but all in all it was a wonderful 2 weeks of athletic achievement. There will be many fond memories in the years to come. We invite the magical music of the Beatles to help us in our look back at 8 memorable moments of the 2008 Olympics. Why 8? It is considered the luckiest number in China.
1. "A little help from my friends". Michael Phelps' incredible run will be the lasting memory for most when thinking back to the Beijing Games. But it was only with the help of his equally impressive teammates that Phelps won Gold in the 4X100 and Team Medley Relays. Jason Lezak in particular swam the race of his life to out touch the French team at the wall in the 4X100.
2. "Come Together". The only way to describe the improbable journey of the U.S. Men's Volleyball team, who won the Gold for their Coach and his family after tragedy struck. Coach Hugh McCutcheon coached his team with a heavy heart in Beijing after his mother and father in law were brutally attacked while visiting tourist sites in Beijing.
3. "Here Comes The Sun". The sun always seemed to be shining on the U.S. Beach Volleyball Duos of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri "6 Feet of Sunshine" Walsh on the Women's side and Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser on the Men's. Both duos marched to Gold as the U.S. owned the man made beach in Beijing.
4. "Nowhere Man". For the improbable collapse of American sprinter, Tyson Gay. He was the defending World Champion at 100 and 200M. He failed to even qualify at 200M due to injuries and failed to make the Final in the 100M. To make matters worse, he was part of a botched baton hand-off in the 4X100 relay that led to a preliminary round DQ.
5. "If I Fell". To U.S. Gymnast, Alicia Sacramone. She was the heart and soul of the team in the preliminary rounds as her injury riddled team struggled to perform to their expectations. The medal round was not one to remember however as Sacramone fell off the balance beam and fell during her floor routine leading to costly deductions. The American Women still took home Silver, but it wasn't much consolation to Alicia who felt she let her teammates down.
6. "I'll Cry Instead". To German Superheavyweight Weightlifter Matthias Steiner. Overwhelmed with joy after winning the Gold Medal. He dropped to his knees and tears streamed down his face. Steiner's wife Susann was tragically killed in a car accident last year and despite his joy he wished he could share his victory with her. He did find a way to have her at his side on the medal podium though as he proudly displayed a photo of his smiling wife while receiving his medal.
7. "Yesterday". To Hope Solo and the U.S. Women's Soccer team. It seems like just yesterday that Solo was at the center of a controversy regarding a game against the Samba Girls of Brazil. Solo earned back her teammates trust and put that horrible experience behind her and she made big save after big save to lead the U.S. Women's Team to Gold in a match once against... Brazil.
8. "Twist and Shout". To the "Redeem Team". No one doubted their talent but many questioned their dedication and their ability to play well as a team. They quieted all the doubters with a dominant run through the tournament culminating in a tough fought victory against a talented Spanish team in the Gold medal game. They signed countless autographs, mingled with fellow athletes and cheered on their countrymen at countless events. They gave us all many reasons to cheer, twist, scream and shout for joy.