The Olympics are over?
Published 5:09 pm Sunday, August 31, 2008
By By Chandler Myers
For the last two weeks, eyes have been glued to television sets around the world watching the 2008 Olympics.
People probably laughed and people probably cried at the events that unfolded throughout competition. Triumphant heroes were born and “old favorites” returned to glory upon the top of the medal podium.
As amazing as it was to see Michael Phelps win a record eight gold medals, it was just as cool to see the emotion shown by his mother at each event he participated in. She stole the hearts of people everywhere. Phelps did a wonderful job of representing the United States and led the swim team to heights never seen before.
The U.S. gymnastics squad left the Olympics with a team earned silver medal, but Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin proved to the world that America still controls the sport by going first and second in the individual all-around competition. These two young girls put everyone on the edge of their seats wondering who would win the neck and neck competitions for gold.
With four years left until the games in London, it will be interesting to see how much they improve with all the important training they will be put through.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt used his powerful legs and came out smelling like a rose by sprinting his way into the world record books by sweeping the 100 meter and the 200 meter for the first time since Carl Lewis accomplished the feat. Bolt also won a gold for helping his team win the 4×100 meter relay.
A 41-year-old U.S. swimmer proved age does not matter by qualifying in heat after heat and reaching the final in the 50 meter freestyle. Dara Torres came close to winning the gold medal, but happily settled for silver after being edged out by Germany’s Britta Steffen.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh defended their turf by winning another gold in beach volleyball and continue to show why they are the No. 1 team in the world. The great part about their victory is that they made it seem as if they had won it for the first time and pulled the largest upset in the world. It’s always a great thing to see people that are humble and happy when victory is achieved.
A throne lost four years ago was reclaimed with great victories over competition that seemed fierce at the 2004 games in Greece. The Team USA basketball team forced their way through the Olympics and made opponents look silly by posting wins by huge margins. The toughest game was the final against Spain, but in the end with head coach Mike Krzyzewski leading the U.S. there was never any worry that the U.S. would fall short of gold.
With triumph always comes failure and not everyone is able to win a gold medal or even silver or bronze.
The U.S. women’s softball team cruised their way to a gold medal game by blowing competition off the diamond. In the final, they were not able to hold off the Japanese team and lost 3-1 walking away with a silver medal.
Normally, a feat like this would be seen as a minor success, but for a team that wins on a consistent basis, it is hard not to have the ultimate prize.
In track competition, the men and women’s relay teams each fell apart during the 4×200 relay by dropping batons. It must be really heartbreaking not to win something when you are heavily favored.
Well it’s time to say goodbye to the 2008 Olympics and it’s pretty disappointing to say that.
Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org