Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Olympic Wrap-Up

Well, it's all over for another 4 years. Those two weeks seem to fly. We've had the TV going pretty frequently over here but consider it an exceptional occasion. As usual, we were quite happy with the results.

Our swimming team did us proud again. A couple of our girls were outstanding, winning gold. The guys on our team were a little let down by ONLY winning silver on their main events. Perhaps we felt the loss of Ian Thorpe, who retired early, but people like Eamon Sullivan and Grant Hackett were fantastic anyway. It makes me think of something that I mentioned on this blog once before. Out of the 3 people standing on the podium, figure out the person who tends to get most depressed and need most counselling. It's not the bronze medallist, who is generally glad just to have won an Olympic medal, but the silver medallist, who regrets having been so close to the gold and just missing out. But I think the two fellows I mentioned realise that being second best in the world at their events is a momentous achievement anyway.

Having said all this, every other swimmer of every nation was overshadowed by Michael Phelps anyway. Wow, that guy is a powerhouse, a machine, and we all started backing him over here too, just to see if he could break that record of earning most golds at any single games.

I love it when surprising victories occur, such as our gold winning high-diver, Matthew Mitchum, who won his event on the very last day. I learned something from his story, too. Apparently two years ago, this young man decided his was getting disenchanted with diving and was on the verge of quitting. He stuck it out just for the sake of all that he'd already put into it and now he's made history.

I always find myself touched whenever I see a medal presentation, regardless of the nationality of the winner. There's something about hearing national anthems belted out that moistens the eyes. I know I'm an ignorant Aussie, but the only lyrics of "The Star Spangled Banner" I know are "Say can you see by the dawn's early light." I might look them up because I'm interested, it's such a stirring tune. I do know all the words to my own anthem, of course, but there was a time when that wasn't the case. When we used to sing "Advance Australia Fair" at Primary School, I'd never quite remember this line:- "In history's page, let every stage advance Australia, fair." Some of my friends, who knew even less, asked me and I said, "I think it's "For heaven's sake, let every state advance Australia fair." It fitted the tune so that was good enough for us.

So it's all over and I guess we'll start looking forward to London, 2012. Did you realise, the Olympic Games and the leap year happen in the same year? I figured that out during Athens 2004, the year my son Blake was born. Although he was overdue and wasn't born until March 26th, I was optimistic enough in late February to wonder if he might born on February 29th. Andrew and I were making a few jokes about how, if that happened, every three years we'd be able to tell him, "No party, it's not your birthday this year."

On that note I think I'll stop typing as I've already done a few deviations from the subject of the Olympics.


  1. I cried when Mitchum was given his diving medal. And Eamon swum his heart out. We were cheering here for you Aussies more than once. :-) I mean, if the US can't win, then we'll cheer you on.

    I can give you the lyrics if you want them, the Star Spangled Banner. It actually started as a poem.

    I loved your wrap up.

  2. In our house we are definitely more into the winter olympics. It's all about the hockey for us! Vancouver is hosting the 2010 games and tickets go on sale October 3. We are really hoping to get some tickets. It would be so exciting to actually be there!

    Are you gearing up for spring? We're starting to feel the coolness in the air so I know fall is on its way!

  3. I was going to type all the words to "The Star Spangled Banner" but remembered that you could easily look it up. But ... I wanted to tell you that the last line, "O'er the land of the free, AND THE HOME, OF THE, BRAVE!" That line makes me cry every time! Some of us here are very patriotic and this line reminds me of all that had to happen to be a free country, fought hard by brave men, whether on the battlefield or within our government. I really believe that and wish our country now had more brave men and women.

    Thanks for the Olympic wrap-up. We watched the diving from our hotel room in Portland last week but didn't know who won. Good for Matthew! (I loved Ian Thorpe in the last Olympics - sorry he retired so soon.)

    We have been talking about going to the Winter Olympics in two years. I mean, they are being held so close we could probably drive there in a day, perhaps two. It would be a shame not to go - but money is the issue. And we dream of going to London for those Olympics. That would be awesome!

    We haven't heard from Todd's doctor - so no news is good news (I think) but I'm not going to write about it until I know for sure. Thanks for your prayers!


  4. Great post! We, also, watched non-stop Olympics. We cheered for almost everyone regardless of country. To be that incredible of an athlete, deserves admiration. Some 'sports' left us wondering like table tennis and rythmic dance. I'm not saying they don't take talent and atheletism, but they seem odd? Well at least they made for some interesting discussions, lol.