We of course were tremendously interested in the men's gymnastics and to a slightly lesser degree, the women's. The gymnastics...oh, the gymnastics. I could go on and on about them. (And those of you who have talked to me in person, know that I have! Sorry.) In these Olympics we felt personally invested. Orozco, Leyva, Dalton, Mikulak, and Horton....we know these guys. We've met them, we have their autographs, we've watched them compete live. Danell Leyva with his lucky towel and his hyper-active coach/step-dad. Humble and sweet John Orozco. Jonathan Horton's way of encouraging everyone around him even when he is truly hard on himself. Sam Mikulak's ever-ready smile and his look that seems to read, "Wow...how did I ever get so lucky as to be here??" And Jake Dalton with his gargantuan cheering section. (Seriously...they have matching t-shirts and everything, and they are proud and LOUD. Boy do they love their brother/son/nephew/cousin/friend Jake.) They are ALL tremendous athletes...and every bit as good as the Fab Five women's team. They are better than what the world got to see. A few things that came to mind as I watched the competition. First and foremost, pressure is a beast! Can you even imagine what that must feel like? But also, keep this in mind...the girls only have to compete on 4 events. The men? They have to be perfect at 6. And last, I think the competition was more stiff in the men's events than the women's. Not to diss the world's greatest women gymnasts and not to try and make excuses....but in all seriousness, I truly believe that our USA men were going up against harder competition than our USA women. Just my opinion.
(A few pics from the 2012 Winter Cup in Las Vegas this past February. Jonathan Horton stopping his workout to give Brandon an autograph and congratulate him on his 3rd place win, Danell Leyva on pommel, John Orozco on pommel and Jake Dalton on high bar. Sadly, no Sam Mikulak....although Brandon did meet him and get his autograph.)
Okay...enough of that.
For the record...just a few more quick (and random) things that caught my attention over the past few weeks.
1. Usain Bolt. He's a runner from Jamaica. (As if you didn't already know...) And maybe you already saw this or heard about it....but that man earned my respect in a big, big way. He was in the middle of an interview with a Spanish journalist when, across the field, the medal ceremony started up for the women's 400 meter dash which was won by American Sanya Richards-Ross. Keep in mind, Bolt is Jamaican. This isn't a medal ceremony honoring a fellow countryman. It's likely not a race that was really even on his radar as important to him personally. But when the National Anthem started up, he stopped his interview (the journalist had continued to yammer on) and signaled to the reporter that they should be respectful of the moment....and then watched in silence till the anthem was done. Then and only then did he continue on with his interview. Wow. I'm sure I wasn't the only new fan Bolt gained that day. (Also...apparently his last name really is Bolt. I'd wondered if he changed it when he became a runner. What a fortuitous last name!) :)
2. Did anyone else see Misty May-Treaner's and Kerri Walsh-Jennings' gold medal beach volleyball game? Okay, admission....I really couldn't care less about beach volleyball. The powers-that-be at NBC seemed to think that we were all at the edge of our seats waiting anxiously to see if Misty and Kerri could turn this Olympics into a gold medal three-peat. (Who knows...maybe most people were.) What it meant for me was that in waiting for gymnastics coverage...we watched a lot of beach volleyball. Whatever. What DID stick with me....Kerri's run over to the spectator stands to find her husband after that final gold medal winning point...and him lifting her completely up off the ground below and into the stands with him as they celebrated together. Because this victory wasn't just Misty's and Kerri's. The sacrifice and support of their families meant that it was every bit their victory as well. And how sweet was that hug??
3. I kind of really loved that the British Royals were so hugely involved with the Olympics and with rooting their countrymen on.
4. And last but not least, I absolutely adored this Sears commercial. Seriously. I tried to fast forward through the commercials as much as possible but somehow I ended up seeing this in its entirety. And I was so surprised...and laughed SO hard....that I had to immediately rewind it so I could watch it again. Three times.