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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wahoo – The Olympics are Here!

The 2012 US Olympic Triathletes
The Olympics came at the perfect time.  Being sidelined with my knee injury coupled with a rainy weekend last weekend when I had mostly outdoor activities planned for my visiting parents, we tuned into the Olympics.  While I’ve always loved the winter Olympics, I didn’t always find as much enjoyment in the summer Olympics – typically just tuning it in for the gymnastics.  Since falling in love with swimming, cycling and running competitively, I’m viewing this 30th Olympics through a whole new lens.  Here’s what I’ve been following during the first week:
Cycling – Both the mens’ and womens’ Road Races had thrilling conclusions.  It’s hard to believe after 5h45 for the men and 3h35 for the women that it can still come down to a photo finish.
Swimming – Of course, it’s hard to resist the Phelps medal mania and the showdowns with Lochte, but for the first year, I was really interested in analyzing their stroke and off the wall techniques.  And the women having been rocking too!
Gymnastics – We all have stories of a sports star who inspired us at a young age.  For me, it was Nadia Comaneci and her graceful and perfect 10s in 1976.  Soon after, I begged my Mom to enroll me in gymnastics.  I never got very good at it but I loved it and am still inspired seeing them dance, jump, flip, and spin.
Beach Volleyball – My friend Tim posted on Facebook, “Is this inappropriate?  I love beach volleyball at the Olympics.”  Of course the snarky comments ensued, including from his wife, and Tim went on to say, “Good sport, great atmosphere and amazing venue”.  I have to agree on all that, plus I just find the 2 person volleyball more exciting in its technique and action than team volleyball.

Gwen Jorgensen is both a professional tax accountant and triathlete

Triathlon – Given the races’ early Eastern times, we had to watch via video replay.  Mike and I huddled around a computer at our local coffee shop and tried not to have too many loud outbursts as we cheered on the women triathletes.  We were of course partial to our American athletes, especially Gwen Jorgensen who works for Mike’s firm, Ernst & Young.  The announcers were commenting how amazing the women are in this sport – well educated and many who have serious careers, although of course are taking some time off to pursue their Olympic dreams.
The Olympics are a gift to the world and to humankind.  The athletes prove to us time and time again that just when we thought that humans have achieved their potential that we can still get better.  A world record is a just a tease for the next person to break it.  There is a story behind every athlete – how they got there, what drives them, how they overcame barriers.  You don’t have to be an Olympian or even an athlete to be inspired by them.

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