Posted by: Joe English | August 15, 2012

Commentary — Learning From the London Olympic Games

running-advice-bugI have crawled out of my bedroom. The piles of snack wrappers and packages of used AA batteries from my remote control lie in piles around the room. On top of them is a dusting of tissues from a recent bought of crying. My DVR is seeping smoke, its 10,000 hour failure rating nearly used up in just two weeks of usage. The London Olympic Games are over and now life goes back to normal again.

The moments. Oh the moments. There was the guy on the little BMX bike that smashed into a jump in warm-ups. There was the one-armed ping-pong player, which fascinated my son to no end. There were the synchronized divers that hit the water with their feet apart. Oh the moments. We watched, enraptured by the spectacle and a spectacle it was. So many sports that we’ve never heard of. So many medals handed out that the mining industry must be smiling ear-to-ear.

The London Olympics seems to have really elevated the Olympic Games from a simple meeting of athletes to a true “festival of sport.” So broad was the scope of these games that it would seem that no one could take it all in. From judo to track cycling. From beach volleyball to rowing. From equestrian jumping to trampolining to open water swimming to weight-lifting. There really was something for everyone in these games.

There were some moments that truly amazed me personally. When China’s Sun Yang crushed the world record in the 1,500M freestyle swim, he was so far ahead that the commentators joked they needed to switch to a wide-angle lens to get him and his competitors in the same shot. When 6′ 5″ Usain Bolt sped away from the fastest group of sprinters in the world in the 100M, it showed once again that taking 41 steps is faster than taking 44. And when McKayla Maroney nailed that perfect vault in gymnastics, it required repeated watching just to even understand what she had done.

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