Hopefully interest in the Olympics hasn’t died completely a week after, because I would like to share my thoughts on some of my favorite 2012 Olympians:
Mo Farah – As a distance runner, I am perhaps more predisposed to enjoy the distance track events more than most people, but even considering that, this was a banner year for great distance races, with hometown favorite, double gold medalist Mo Farah leading the way in two of the most thrilling events.
Shelley-Ann Fraser Pryce – The Jamaican women’s 100m gold medalist came off as a little arrogant to much of my family, due to her lip-tightening pre-race face-making. I, on the other hand, thought she was endearingly goofy.
Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh Jennings – I usually don’t like repeat Olympian winners this much on their third go-round, especially after they have been so dominant in the past. But Misty and Kerri had to work to get the gold this time. They may have beaten the Chinese in straight sets in the semis, but that match could not have been closer. Misty’s exuberance while screaming in the camera was palpable.
Epke Zonderland – The Flying Dutchman’s gold medal performance on the horizontal bar – with three uninterrupted death-defying flips – was by far the best gymanstic routine at London 2012. It doesn’t hurt that he also looks like a Norse god.
Oksana Chusovitina/Yordan Yovchev – The 37-year-old German (formerly Soviet, then Uzbeki) gymnast Chusovitina (competing in her 6th games) looked so out of place among all the teenage girls, while the 39-year-old Bulgarian Yovchev (also in his 6th games) – who reminds me of Jack LaLanne – didn’t look as out of place among the other male gymnasts. Good on them for keeping it up in a sport in which 20 is considered old and still managing to be medal contenders.