What a week it was! Ya, ya training was fine and all that stuff, but, Olympics!
My T.V has definitely been the hardest working appliance in my house this week. I’m watching as much of the Olympics as I can and loving every minute of it. I thought I’d throw together a quick list of my 5 favourite moments from the Games so far. Here we go, in reverse order, for dramatic effect!
5. Watching two athletes from the Northern Territories compete on the biggest stage in sport.
Being from the North (I’m obviously biased) I’m a massive fan of all things northern. Denise Ramsden (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories) and Zach Bell (Watson Lake, Yukon) are both cyclists. Denise competes on the road and Zach on the track. Seeing both of them go out and give their everything was hugely motivating for me as a Northern athlete and I hope lots of kids from the North had a chance to watch them compete.
Zach was hoping to medal and had a tough first day, but came out in the 15km scratch race on the second day of his Omnium competition, knowing he had to win if he wanted any chance of medaling. He did exactly that, but unfortunately came up short of being the first person from the Territories to medal. Still, I loved the grit and balls it took to lay it all on the line when it really counted.
4. Chad LeClos out touches Michael Phelps in the 200m Butterfly
Michael Phelps is obviously and amazing talent. 22 Olympic medals is virtually unimaginable. On Tuesday, Phelps led out the 200m butterfly like he’s done so many times. It seemed inevitable that he would win. But in the last 50m Chad LeClos of South Africa came charging back, taking the win only in the last half meter. He out touched Phelps by 0.05 seconds.
It was one of the only times I yelled at my T.V when a Canadian was not involved. I love moments like this because you get to see the shear excitement on LeClos face. Its real life drama. So, so, so much better than the Bachelorette or Survivor.
3. Canadian Men’s 8 Rowing wins silver (with special mention to Barney Williams’ call!)
Wednesday morning was like several other mornings this week. I woke up before my alarm went off thinking I would just roll over and go back to sleep. But then my mind immediately switched to OLYMPICS! and I couldn’t sleep anymore. I rolled out of bed in a semi coma and on to the couch. Boy was I happy that I did wake up early. I got up just in time to see the Men’s 8 rowing team turn their fortunes around after a disappointing heat and win a silver medal, less that half a boat length behind the ever powerful Germans. Not only was I pumped for a Canadian medal, I was immediately shaken out of my sleepy state by an unbelievable call of the race by Barney Williams and Rob Faulds. My favourite line of the call?
“This is an 8 cylinder engine that’s about to redline!!!” – yelled by Barney Williams as the Men’s 8 wins a silver medal
2. The Opening Ceremonies
Much has probably been reported about the themes, performances costumes etc in the opening ceremonies. Truth is, all that stuff is always pretty cool, no matter the Games. But for me, the opening ceremonies are all about the athletes and the Olympic flame. When Team Canada came in, lead by Simon Whitfield, I had goosebumps like I seldom ever have. Massive Canadian Pride. Awesome.
1. August 4, a day that will go down in Great British history.
Now I am massive Canadian patriot, but there was something about yesterday and the home team catching fire, winning 6 golds in a single day, highlighted by 3 gold medals on the track in an hour, that just got to me. It’s the one time so far in this Olympics that I have truly felt exactly the way I did for two whole weeks in February 2010. The whole of Great Britain was ready to explode and when Mo Farah won the men’s 10k running race an stadium of 80 000 people completely lost it. Hearing god save the queen sung by the entire stadium during Jessica Ennis’ gold medal ceremony reminded me of hearing the crowds in downtown Vancouver sing after Sidney Crosby scored in overtime. A whole nation brought together. So emotional. And exactly why I love the Olympics.
There is still a week to go, and I’m sure there will be many more awesome moments to come. I’ll end this post with a quote I say on twitter following a Roger Federer early round victory on why Olympic moments are great.
“Why the Olympics are nuts: Roger Federer had one of the most insane matches of his life today, and you already forgot it happened” – Jason Gay @jasonWSJ
What are your favourite moments so far?