As I’m waiting for the Closing Ceremonies to start (and lets face it, for the Spice Girls to perform!), I’m a bit sad, thinking about the last 8.5 days that I’ve been in London for the games. I head to Germany tomorrow with mixed emotions. Sad because my Olympic experience has been so fabulous, soaking up the atmosphere, hearing every language imaginable, seeing visitors/supporters from nations I can’t even begin to pronounce, all coming together for the love of sports. People are walking around with the country gear on, obviously rooting for their athletes, but there is still such a sense of “one-ness” if that makes sense. Each of us traveled here for a specific purpose – to cheer on our fellow countrymen, but more importantly, to celebrate a global event.
If you know me, you know I love sports of all kinds. I love watching, I love participating, I love cheering. Yes, I was screaming the loudest for the Americans, but HOT DANG, some other athletes made these Olympic Games interesting. I found myself cheering extra loud for Mo Farah (I quite enjoyed him before, but he is just adorable). When he rounded that last turn in the 10000m last weekend, I was SCREAMING at the tv for him to win (and yes, there was an American in that race; his training partner Galen Rupp. I cheered for him as well, but I just wanted Mo to win. Luckily, Galen got the silver!)
I decided to spend yesterday in Hyde Park, at one of the biggest Live Sites London had to offer. Holy moly, I felt like I was at an amazing festival. There were 5 giant screens, food vendors all around the perimeter, a huge Cadbury thing in the corner under a big pop-up tent with a 2.5 hour queue (seriously, people better have been taking chocolate baths or something in there), and games and activities for the whole family. Not to mention the weather was GORGEOUS and I could get my tan on 🙂
Last night was the 5000m mens final. I was already fired about about athletics (who wasn’t?!) after the American women broke the world record for the 4×100 relay. Seriously, how can you not be excited when you see Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix smile after a race?! Last nights 5000m final was watched at an “American bar” – the Chase Visa VIP Lounge that gave me the great opportunity to meet Brandi Chastain. Everyone was on their feet watching this final. During the last 100 when Mo got out in front, but there were 2 right on his heels. Everyone was on edge. When it was clear he was going to win, and when he officially crossed the line, an entire bar of Americans erupted in the loudest cheer I’ve heard in a long time. I was waiving my GB flag along with others, even though they were wearing American flags on their shirts. The camaraderie during the Olympics gives you goosebumps, it’s that amazing.
How can I follow that night? Oh with a little thing called the mens marathon of course! On the final morning of the Olympic Games, the worlds best endurance runners toed the start line at Pall Mall. We had 3 Americans start the race – Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman. I lined up at the same spot as the womens marathon since it provided a great view, and waited for the first pass of the loop.
This was the leaders at the final lap, just about at mile 19. These 3 finished with medals, in left to right order:
Oh and our mens basketball team won Gold, no big deal.