Thursday, April 12, 2012

London 2012

I get so excited whenever I see things like this.

And then my heart sinks when I remember that I won't be there.

Having said that, I do hope that the winnings are big for Great Britain this year; and by that, I mean a couple of really special gold medals. If I could write the results, for example, I would pick something like a win for Team GB in the football - with goals scored by Gareth Bale (a Welshman) and David Beckham (a hero) in the final. Or a long-awaited gold medal for Paula Radcliffe in the marathon. Don't get me wrong, I was born in America, I consider myself American. Sure, I'll even cheer for Michael Phelps as much as the next person. But there is one reason that the Olympics doesn't usually give me the feeling of split loyalties that it should. It's just that for the USA, gold medals are nothing more than a formality; the Olympics in this country becomes more about "how many," and beating China/Russia/othercountrywithlotsofpeople in the medals table, than it is about inspiring personal stories of greatness. Just look, it took a Visa ad about Derek Redmond to bring his story to household status; what was everybody doing in 1992? Probably too distracted by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird et al. playing against "competitors" who weren't even fit to stand in their line of sight.

Anyway, I'm not saying that Brits are saints, or that they won't be tolling up the medal numbers as much as the next country. It's just that, in Great Britain, every medal is celebrated. Every winner is a hero. We appreciate them for the achievement that they are, because let's face it, they don't come around that often. That's why moments like these become all the more special:

So here's hoping this Olympics brings us some more of these special moments. And if for no other reason, surely everybody wants the host country to do OK? Right? Right??

"I don't look sixteen? Oh I get that all the time..."