Of course I still appreciated swimming more than I ever have before, thanks to him and a few of his teammates (whose names I do not really know). That shout of elation after the 100-meter freestyle relay is definitely one of my top moments of the Games. It gave me goosebumbs simply because of its complete and utter raw emotion and joy. That celebration had nothing to do with being the greatest Olympian of all time or breaking records, it was simply the thrill of victory and it’s best. One of my other favorite moments away from the track was the women’s gymnastic all-around competition. It was that instant when the score from Nastia Luikin’s floor routine flashed on the screen, virtually guaranteeing her the Gold medal and Shawn Johnson being the only person left to perform. I was captivated by Shawn at that moment because she simply flashed the most genuine smile and gave a look of determination that convinced you she was about to give the most amazing routine knowing she couldn’t get the Gold medal. She was just happy to be in that moment, excited at the opportunity to give her best and have that be good enough. I think it was a true testament to the Olympic ideal as anything could be.
Of course on the track Usain Bolt was amazing. The guy is simply a freak of nature, capable of things only he alone can dream of it seems. I know he’s not American, but you cannot not be excited by that type of talent and performance. I know the USA faltered a bit but we did have some sweeps as well as some breakthrough performances that nobody expected which were cool to watch because I love to see the underdog shock the world.
The biggest disappointment for me was probably the relays not being able to get the stick around. It seems we try to invest so much in that area and it’s obviously not helping us improve. I think it would have been a highlight of the Games though if we were able to have two strong teams go head to head with the Jamaicans. And of all the athletes, I think my heart went out to Lolo Jones in the 100-meter hurdles more than anyone. And maybe Liu Xiang as well, seeing as he had a billion people in tears over him not running. That surely must be a heavy load to carry. I also was hoping to see my good friend bring home another softball gold which unfortunately wasn't meant to be. What is even more unfortunate is that in 2012 they don't have the opportunity to be in the Olympics which seems a bit unfair as we keep ribbon twirling and trampoline jumping in the program.
I wanted to know what the highlight was for all of you during the Beijing Olympics. What moment spoke to you or touched you more than any other? And what caused you to scream at your T.V. in anguish or disgust?