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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic Sized Hangover??

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, have finally come to an end.

Let the debate begin, but there is one thing we can all agree on: despite this feeling like the longest two weeks of the calendar year, it still seems like it went way too fast.

Many of us will wait and wonder how long it will be until we see someone win more than the 8 gold medals that Michael Phelps won in the 2008 games in Beijing, China.

Others will debate that this year's version of the USA basketball dream, despite its close margin of victories, would have been able to beat the 1992 squad that won gold in Barcelona rather easily.

Then there are others who would marvel at the people who underwent great personal struggle just to make it to these olympic games. One person that stands out among others is Oscar Pistorius, a South African sprinter and double leg amputee who competed not only in the 400 meter dash but also the 4x400 meter relay for his home country. Maybe more shocking than the fact that Pistorius was able to make it to London was that many people argued that his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage when running these races. I myself am no doctor, but having been a former long distance runner, I can't begin to fathom how prosthetics would be better than real legs, unless of course they were bionic.

Maybe, however, the biggest regret that I have, and I am sure I am not alone in this, is that Americans as whole have become biased to celebrate only those athletes who win gold for our country.

We don't get excited for Jessica Ennis, the gold medalist for home country Great Britain in the heptathlon, and currently the unofficial greatest female athlete in the world.

Nor do we raise an eyebrow for fellow countryman Mo Farah, winner of both the men's 10000m and 5000 m runs-someone who pulled off an enormous double in his own right.

Then there is Jamaica's Usain Bolt. Fastest man in the world, he claims to be as dominant in his sport as Muhammad Ali was in his, or Michael Jordan was in his. Critics such as former US Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis take offense to such statements, claiming Bolt must have been on steroids. Other athletes would argue that 100 meter dash is not as technical as boxing or basketball, so you really can't compare the sports.

Of course, at the end of the day, all of this talk seems to leave us with an Olympic Sized Hangover, as we can't wait for the next round of  Summer Games to begin in Rio in 2012. We don't care what analysts think Michael Phelps will do, we want to see for ourselves that he has really gone into hibernation. We loved watching May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings dominate the sand across the pond so much we hope their already thinking of South America four years from now.

And finally, just as Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman entertained us in this the 30th Olympiad, we can't wait for the show-stoppers of the 31st. Olympiad.

What was your favorite moment of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games? I'd love to hear from you.

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