So just like that, after 17 days, 104 US medals, and one stellar performance by George Michael, the London Olympics are over. Through it all, we met a few new American heroes, were re-acquainted with a few old ones, we were ALL swept up in the unfathomable drama of the 50K Race Walk. And now, theres nothing. Nearly three weeks of non-stop competition replaced by . . . I dont know. The crumbling Sox? Preseason football? The Little League World Series!?!
Truth be told, Im not an enormous fan of the Olympics. At least not compared to how much I care about professional sports, or how much some other people care about the Olympics. But if you have a pulse and a TV, its impossible not to get caught up.
For one, because its always on. Always. And when you consider the sad state of summer TV, the constant flow of competition on the NBC networks was a savior on so many boring nights. And then there are the events. From the absurdity of synchronized diving and the aforementioned race walk to the nuances of competitive ping pong and fencing its all so bizarrely fascinating. In some cases, you find yourself captivated by sports you never knew existed. And all those serve as hearty appetizers to legendary Summer Olympic-entrees like swimming, gymnastics and sprinting, not to mention the more mainstream sports like tennis, soccer and basketball led by familiar names like Federer, Murray, Wambach, Solo, LeBron and Kobe.
Together, we watched it all unfold. We cheered on Douglas and Raisman. We cheered for LeBron! We shook our heads and laughed (what else can you do?) at the unimaginable greatness of Phelps and Bolt. Men fell in love with Alex Morgan; women with Ryan Lochte. We all marveled at the fastest man on no legs but McKayla was unimpressed.
In real time, the games simultaneously dragged on for too long, but happened so fast. The opening ceremonies could have been yesterday or last year. But regardless of our (or my) warped perception, the London Olympics have come to a screeching halt, leaving in their aftermath a slew of memories that will easily last for the next four years.
But thankfully, we'll only need them for another four weeks.
Are you ready?