Emotions of Olympic Proportions
Man, I'm a mess.
I don't know what it is about this year's Olympics, but from the moment I saw those electronic drums at the opening ceremonies to seeing the huge Olympic flame extinguished tonight, I'm buying stock in Kleenex.
There were so many amazing stories of heart and soul and grit and I felt privileged to be a part of the viewing audience.
I'm a former college basketball All-American so I know what it means to train hard and want to win so badly you can taste it. But I can't imagine everything that goes into the dream that only comes around every 4 years and then see that dream dashed in a heartbeat.
I'm thinking especially of Lolo Jones in the hurdles.
I was SO IMPRESSED with Lolo's interview immediately after her race. She was so poised and gracious after her fall at the 9th hurdle, but when they showed her later under the stadium my heart broke for her as she leaned against the wall sobbing.
Then there was Shawn Johnson who finally got her gold medal on the beam. And her Chinese coach coming home for the Olympics with his star student? Don't get me started. And I literally jumped up when Jonathan Horton completed his routine on the high bar last night.
Well, what can I say about Michael (he doesn't need a last name, does he?)? Here's a great article about Michael's sisters' influence referenced by Dave Rothacker at Joyful Jubilant Learning.
Then there's 41-year-old Dara Torres and her amazing silvers as well as the sportsmanship she demonstrated when she stopped her preliminary race to allow one of her competitors a chance to fix a ripped suit.
Among the other many amazing stories that touched me were these:
Those unbelievable handoffs in the relays that dashed Olympic dreams for at least 3 teams. The men's basketball team draping Coach K with their medals. Debbie Phelps in the stands. Natalie du Toit of South Africa competing with half a leg in the open water swim against able-bodied athletes. The men's volleyball team winning the gold while coach Hugh McCutcheon talks about the joy and the sorrow he's experiencing after winning the gold and losing his father-in-law to a random killer.
I'm so grateful that I had a chance to experience these special moments, even though it meant I didn't get nearly enough sleep these last two weeks.
I don't know what I'll do with myself now that this year's Olympics are over. I'll just look forward to 2012 in London.
And stock up on the Kleenex.