The Olympics are over! Now I must “reset” myself to other things I put on hold while I, like millions of others, was riveted to my TV set to watch the events.
From the opening ceremonies to the time final flame died out I was a true fan, critiquing the outfits during the parade of nations and uniforms during the events. Funny how so many men have found a new interest in women’s beach volleyball.
I gasped along with their parents as the athletes took leaps, bounds, plunges that defied my expectations. How the gymnasts can walk on the 4-inch balance beam, let alone do back flips, escapes me.
We all knew the men’s basketball team was going to win, but there were a few skipped heartbeats during the first half of the final game against Spain. I never thought I’d be watching wrestling, rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming, which made me want to watch an old Esther Williams movie.
To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t know a single athlete who competed at the games, but I do know one of the coaches – U.S. women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno, who coaches at DePaul University.
Then I was reminded that Rowdy Gaines, who was a TV commentator for the swimming events, has a connection with the Rey Navarro family of Riverside. He even swam in Riverside-Brookfield High School’s pool, the old one.
What I do know is that in the past 17 days a total of 10,500 athletes from 204 countries competed in the game. Of that number, 530 athletes were from the U.S. And a total of 2,100 medals were awarded. The Olympic mascot was named Wenlock, and Mandeville is the mascot of the Paralympics.
I also learned the stories of many athletes, who made many sacrifices before reaching the podium or competing. It isn’t always about winning but doing your best. For 17 days we all put aside our differences and applauded each other’s abilities and took pride in our countries.
By the way, I loved seeing the “queen” jump out of the plane with James Bond and can only imagine her watching the rest of the Olympics on the telly with her dogs and her purse nearby in her “jammies” with a little “nip” close at hand. Good to see the young royals, Kate, William and Harry enjoying themselves.
All in all, a jolly good show, England. Good for you, and God save the Queen!