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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic Moments

For the past two weeks the television has actually been on in the Valentine house.  Hot Builder, our two kids and I have watched athletes from all over the world whirl, jump, shoot, swim, dance and run their way to medals.

We've cheered (and cried...okay so I did all the crying) with the winners and felt so, so bad for the losers. Honestly though, should we really call people who made it to the Olympics losers? To loosely quote Olivia Kelly, " I can barely do a dash to the corner mailbox without keeling over."

Still, I (and my family) was inspired by the Olympians. Every. Last. One.

However, there were a few that stuck out for me:

Sixteen year old gymnast and Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas. She is the type of role model I want for my daughter: smart, healthy body image, spiritual and driven. Yes, I do know that it's up to me to teach my daughter (and son) how to act and give her a moral compass, but it is so encouraging to have a public figure that helps parents instead of hindering them.

Yet I salute Michael Phelps and consider him a role model for my son, because I think it's important to know two things: you will always get caught, and you can recover from it through hard work. It would have been entirely easy to write Michael off, but he persevered. He stopped messing around and got his butt back in the pool, which led him to win a total of 22 medals.  EIGHTEEN were GOLD. He is considered the greatest athlete of our time.

And who can forget Jamaica's Usain Bolt- a man with lots of self-confidence that liked to boast and the means to back it up. Yet, he stopped an interview when the National Anthem (for our country) played for another competitor's medal ceremony. Class act all the way around.

Last, but certainly not least is Saudi Arabia's Wojdan Shaherkani, braving the judo mat and her country's not so impressive women's rights policy to compete. She, like Gabby Douglas, is only sixteen and is the first woman from Saudi Arabia to be permitted to compete. She didn't move on from the first round, but she's a winner in my book.

So, Dear Readers, tell me who was your favorite Olympian, or what was your favorite Olympic Moment?

Because I haven't given away my debut, TWICE TEMPTED, on Lady Scribes, one random commenter with a relevant comment will be entered to win an e-copy. Winner announced Tuesday Morning under Contest Winners Tab. :)




30 comments:

  1. I wish I would have seen more of the Olympics. The family took a week vacation with very little TV time and when we returned we got to unpacking then packed my daughter up and moved her to college. This is the first year I wasn't glued to the TV and I hate that I missed so much. I kept track of medals, but it isn't the same as actually seeing the event.

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    1. I think you have the perfect excuse for not watching the Olympics, Amy! It was a really good watch though. ;)

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  2. Marquita,
    We were traveling a couple of time during the Olympics, and I've been under deadline, so I didn't catch much of the games. I've heard how amazing they were this year and how inspiring some of the athletes were. I hate that I missed them, but you just made me misty-eyed with your blog. I probably would have needed boxes upon boxes of tissues. :)

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    1. Yeah, boxes of tissue were on the coffee table, along with snacks and drinks.;} One night we had a picnic in the living room floor. Loads of fun!

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  3. I was on airplanes and in my car driving to Austin and back during a lot of the Olympics, but the athlete that really stuck with me was Oscar Pistorius from South Africa--the sprinter who had both legs amputated when he was a little boy and races on prosthetic legs. He didn't win a medal, but he didn't go there expecting to win one. He just wanted the experience.

    I also really enjoyed watching Mo Farah race in some of the longer distances at track. It's always nice to see the host country get a medal in an event that they normally aren't competitive in, and the long distance events at the Olympics are almost always dominated by Kenya and Ethiopia.

    And that makes me think about The Netherlands. Every winter Olympics, I expect to see tons of orange uniforms, competing in events like speed skating and cross country skiing. I don't expect to see them in the summer Olympics...and yet this year, there were a lot more orange uniforms from The Netherlands competing (rather competitively, too!) in a number of events. It was nice to see. :) Maybe soon we'll start seeing more athletes from Sweden, Finland, etc. in these summer events. I mean, if Jamaica can put out a bobsled team, I don't see why Sweden can't compete in gymnastics. :)

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    1. According to what I've read, this was The Year for the UK. They medaled so much and, like you, I want the host country to do really well.

      I was hoping someone would mention Pistorius. What an inspiration!

      I seriously need to break out the Cool Runnings DVD or see if it's on Netflix. ;)

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  4. You know I was all over the Olympics! Oddly enough, as much as I cheered for the US, when that South African swimmer beat Michael Phelps for the gold, I got teary eyed seeing his emotional father all wrapped up in their country's flag like a kid. Like Catherine, I loved seeing Mo Farah's expression of bliss as he crossed the finish line a double gold winner in front of his roaring countrymen.
    Honestly, I ate it all up. The heartbreak, the triumph, the sappy stories - everything!
    Now, if I could only perfect my landing my triple flip whoopti-do ;P

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    1. One of the best things about the Olympics this year was tweeting about them with you, Catherine, Ava and a whole bunch of other Tweeps. It was so much fun. :D

      You can do it! Land that triple. ;P

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  5. Also Every Time NBC panned to Prince Harry I got so Happy! #hotginger

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  6. My favorite moments were watching the Equestrian competition. There is something about seeing horses jump that's exciting.

    I'd liked some of the personal stories they did of the USA Olympians. I liked the story of Holley Mangold the woman's Super Heavyweight athlete. It was nice that every story wasn't about the cute and thin competitors.

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    1. Those were my sister's favorite parts too, Beth!

      I agree; it was great to see all stories showcased. :D

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  7. Thanks for a fun post and congrats on the new release!!!! This has been a crazy summer for me work wise and I've been averaging 60+ hr weeks. So unfortunately, I missed the Olympics cuz I forgot about them :( But I did manage to catch the writes up on CNN. I think that Gabby Douglas was so cute and she worked hard! But she needs a new nickname, "flying squirrel" is so not dignified :)

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    1. Thanks Erin!

      Yeah, "flying squirrel" is kinda strange but it did make me think of the squirrel from Ice Age or rather his love interest, lol!

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  8. This is the first year in many that I've been able to sit down and enjoy the Olympics. And like you, I can't imagine referring to any of the competitors as losers. They're all so amazing! But, I have to admit, Gabby is my fave. She is adorable!

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    1. Isn't she, Andris. You know who else is adorable...Nathan Adrian. ;)

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  9. I go nuts for the Olympics, and I was able to catch most of the coverage this year. I think my favorite moment was during the men's gymnastics individual event finals on the vault (although the finals on the high bar were also stunning... that guy from the Netherlands... holy camoley!). Samuel Mikulak did not perform the best vault, but he showed himself to be the nicest guy ever by congratulating every competitor and complimenting their performances. And he was genuine... I was blown away. I want to buy that kid a cup of coffee and thank him for restoring my faith in humanity.

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    1. Great point! I think we need to remember that having good sportsmanship is such a key part of being a great Olympian.

      Hope you get to buy him that cup of coffee some day!

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    2. I should try to figure out how to send him a gift card... it might be creepy if I try it any other way. :) I thought the women runners were also blessed with remarkably good attitudes (not so much the menfolk...), and did you see the moment in the men's 400 meter semi-finals where the winner of the race traded bibs with Oscar Pistorius to honor him for his accomplishments? There were some amazing moments of human kindness in this Olympic games.

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  10. I think I liked Aly Raisman. She seemed to have a grace and confidence that put her above the others in my mind. So impressed with the way she handled all of the pressure and even the bad moments (like when the all-around was stolen from her. WHY can't there be 2 bronze medals if they tied? They bronze is only worth $4.71. Ridiculous. She was robbed. Both girls should have gotten medals.) But she maintained a very professional and sportsmanlike attitude through out. :)

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    1. OMGosh, Ava. I wanted to die, DIE when she was robbed of her bronze. And three cheers for yet another competitor with great sportsmanship.

      Think we'll ever see that in the NBA or NFL?

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  11. My favorite events are always the gymnastics and so my favorite Olympian is Gabby Douglas. :D

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    1. Mine too, Barbara! Swimming's a close second though, for obvious reasons. ;)

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  12. Hi Marquita -

    I loved watching all the events but my your favorite Olympic Moment was watching all they had done to improve the neighborhood where the events were held. To be it was a moment to reflect on how the Olympics not only changed the lives of all those who participated but that the English people decided to take advantage of making the Olympics not only to show their admiration for the participants but also to improve the lives of their countrymen and women living in an area that had degenerated.

    The English people had the vision to not only honor all those who participated but also those fellow citizens who were living in poverty and to make their neighborhood a better place to live in the future.

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    1. Hi Jeanne!

      That is so amazing that they did that! I also liked how they re-purposed already standing structures instead of building completely new ones that in ten years (or less) would be covered with graffiti. I saw a blog today on that and it broke my heart at the state of the former Olympic Sites. :{

      Very forward-thinking, those Englishmen and women. :)

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  13. I wish we had had a chance to watch more than we did! I always love the gymnastics--cause my kids are gymnasts. And the swimming. I also like the diving and crew.

    I love the background stories on the athletes. They give up so much and work so hard!

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    1. My daughter is dying to do gymnastics, Deb. But she'll have to wait because she already committed herself to ballet and tennis.

      And I loved the background stories too!

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  14. I liked the swimming events. All the athletes were good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Another vote for swimming! I agree, bn, all were really good. :)

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