Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Great Olympic Hangover.

As a Vancouverite, I can't help but feel empathetic to the people of Great Britain, as the all too familiar post Olympic hangover begins to settle in. This time around, for Canadians,  it simply means changing the channels on our televisions for the first time in two weeks. While yes, this is a great physical feat for our thumbs, it is a lot easier emotionally, than experiencing first hand, the empty feeling, as the city slowly drains after hosting the world's largest party for fourteen straight days. We can all vouch that the Vancouver games left Canada with a greater sense of identity, but London 2012 has done that and more. A year ago, London was burning as riots broke out all over the city. The games have provided the people of the U.K. with a sense of cohesion, and perhaps a little optimism, that yes, while the hard times are far from over, they can and will get through it. Like most high profile sporting events, it will inspire generations of youth to compete. Team Great Britain's overall performance was outstanding. This display of athleticism proved to the world that they are a force to reckon with, but more importantly showed the British people that their programs have made huge strides, and that they now have the ability to compete with, and beat the world's best athletes. While I'm certain they dreamt of such domination in the lead-up to the games, I am sure very few thought it could be done. 

Between the Royal Wedding, the Queen's Jubilee, the Tour de France win, and the Olympics, it has been one high profile year for the British. Perhaps it was just what the doctor ordered to help and provide a much needed distraction and maybe a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel during a struggling economy. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the games have been an incredible success story, but like all good things, they must come to an end. I'll leave you with a few moments from these games that I know we'll all remember. 

Some of them pulled at my heart strings, some made me laugh, and others made me cry, but such is sport.

Canada's Women's soccer team celebrates a bronze medal (Canada's first medal in a traditional team sport since 1936)
Olympic and World Champion,  Mo Farah (a British Somali) winning Gold in both the 10,000, and the 5,000 m
An Olympic official warns the Korean and Chinese Badminton teams to play their best, with both teams determined to lose. All in all, four teams (eight athletes) were disqualified and sent home.

With her famous smile, U.S. swimmer, Missy Franklin (17 years old) is now a four time gold medallist and 200m backstroke world record holder
The Canadian Men's 4x100 relay team celebrates  what they initially thought was a bronze medal finish.

The Heartbreak that follows as they find out they've been disqualified for stepping on the line.
The Captain of our team, Jared Connaughton, who so gracefully took full responsibility for the disqualification only minutes after the race.

Jessica Ennis, British Heptathlete, golden girl, and gold medallist.
Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps (the most decorated Olympian). I won't forget Phelps' 22 medals, or Lochte's articulate television interviews.
Show-boating and all, Usain Bolt, now holding the world record for the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m races

And lastly, by far my favourite Royal candid moment, showing even The Firm can let their hair down...

 Photo Credits:

Mohamed Farah: Here
4x100 celebration Here
4 x 100 Dcvastation here and here and here
Jessica Ennis here

China/Korea badminton here
Usain Bolt here
Women's Soccer Celebration here
Missy Franklin here
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte here
Will and Kate here
London 2012 Poster here

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