Cheerio to the London Olympics

By Danielle Templin
Sports Editor

The Olympic Games only come around every four years, but when they do, they are hard to ignore. Uniting together countries across the world to share in commonness for the love of competition and national pride, the Olympics are games that bring together both sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Whether it was audiences tuning in to watch the United States’ Redeem Team, or people viewing the last few days of track and field, the United States clearly continued to prove to be the world’s most dominating athletic country, winning 104 total medals, 46 of them gold.
The top stories going into the Olympics revolved around the “fastest man in the world,” Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, the United States’ women’s gymnastics team, known as the Fab Five, and of course Mr. Gold Medal himself, Michael Phelps.
Preceding the London Olympic Games, Usain Bolt was greatly criticized for his qualifying race in the Jamaican time trials. Expectations were brought into question when fellow teammate Yohan Blake beat Bolt with the fastest qualifying time for the Jamaica time trials. Bolt also was disqualified in the 2011 World Championships, after a false start, in which fellow countryman Blake took the top honor.
Bolt proved all his critics wrong, winning both the 100m dash and 200m dash, making it look effortless.  Usain Bolt continued to rack up medals. In his final gold medal race, the Jamaican team set a world record in the 4 x 100m relay, where the United States battled for the silver. By the end of the Olympics, Bolt had left his critics surprised, finishing three for three in his events, striking his famous pose after. Hate him or not, Usain Bolt kept his title of “fastest man in the world.”
The Fab Five, also known as the United States’ women’s gymnastics team, put the United States back on top in the world standings, winning their first Olympic team gold medal since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Lead by the all-around gold medalist, Gabby Douglas, and strong performances by Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney, the US team sealed the gold in the last rotation with nearly flawless performances on floor routine. Within the first few days of the Olympics, the Fab Five had won over the hearts of many of the United States’ fans.
To mention the Olympics without acknowledging Michael Phelps would be impossible. Phelps is responsible for bringing the sport of swimming back into the spotlight. Back in 2004, Michael Phelps made his Olympic debut winning eight total medals.
Four years later in Beijing, Phelps added to his Olympic total, winning eight gold medals, passing a record once held by Mark Spitz.
Finally in 2012, in what Phelps claimed to be his last Olympics, Michael broke the record for most medals by any Olympian with a grand total of 22 medals. It’s hard to say if Michael Phelps is the best athlete on the planet or the greatest Olympian of all time, but people cannot deny that he is brilliant at what he does. Most athletes are lucky if they even win one medal, but standing on the podium hearing the national anthem multiple times never seemed to get old for Phelps and audiences watching.
It is without a doubt that Michael Phelps changed the sport of swimming and made it the signature event of the past three Olympics Games.
With a young and talented squad of Olympic swimmers eager for the 2016 Games in Rio, swimming looks to maintain its appeal to the American audience, but without the swimming icon of Michael Phelps, the sport will not be the same.

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1 Comment

  1. Patty Templin

     /  September 13, 2012

    Dani,
    GREAT article!!!!!!

    Reply

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