Friday, August 17, 2012

The London Olympics Games 2012 - my favourite moments

It was a marvellous Games, quite possibly the best ever. Everything went like Swiss clockwork. The best bit for me was the appreciative stadium crowd. Opening and Closing ceremonies had bits that I simply couldn't forget. Results and Disqualifications were available very fast. Many times it was the reactions from the athletes that had a more lasting impression on me than the actual event.
Just like the Ironman, we get post Olympic Games Blues once the Olympics is over. Its best I record the bits that were the best for me, lest I forget.

Opening Ceremony
The Queen, James Bond, David Beckham, indeed the whole country seemed to have chipped in. The best bit for me though was Mr Bean. This was British comedy at its best.

The first magical moment - Jessica Ennis
The Games didn't seem to get going the first few days. But once the Games' poster girl won the Heptathlon quite easily, it seemed to have waken up the whole stadium. She has a lovely smile and a six pack tummy too. She and the home nation are thoroughly deserving of her victory.

Felix Sanchez, winner of the Gold Medal for sobbing on the podium
Definitely one of the Games most emotional moments.
He was raised by his grandmother and she passed away during Beijing 2008. Sanchez ran with her picture next to his heart. When he was about to receive his medal, it was raining and he felt it was his Grandma's tears of joy.
Heck this guy look's like he is a hit man for some drug lord. But here he was sobbing away most uncontrollably. We love you Felix Sanchez from the Dominican Replublic. Definitely deserving of his Gold Medal for the 400m hurdles.

Meserat Defar, Gold'- Women's 5,000 m
We from the Doha Bay Running Club were blessed to have watched the Doha Diamond League on 12 May 2012. It got me seriously hooked on world class Athletics.
One of the top duels that night was between Defar (Ethopia) and Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya). Defar is a very popular Athelete and the whole Qatar Sports Club stadium was rocking when she stept on the track. Unfortunately that night, it was Cheruiyot that won.
But at the Olympics it was Defar's turn. We all saw how she was sobbing after the finish. Even during the medal presentation ceremony, we could see the tears streaming down her cheeks onto her quivering lips.  Definitely another emotional moment for the Games.

Anna Chicherova. Gold, Women's High Jump.
She was a clear winner that day, but what got me was how she went into tears the moment it was confirmed that she had won the Gold. She was crying away whilst packing her stuff. Don't know why my favourite high jumper, Blanca Vlasic was not there though.

David Rudisha. Gold, Men's 800 m and new World Record.
David Rudisha also came to Doha for the Diamond League, but such was my limited knowledge, I had never even heard of him even though he was the World record holder for the 800 m. He had been setting World Records seemingly at will. He has such a superb running action that for a few days after his Gold Medal run, I was trying to run like him during my training runs.
Some newspapers had his performance as the stand out performance of the Games. It may have been so up to that day. But before the Games ended there would be a new World Record erasing a previous record that had stood for 27 years, which I consider to be the stand out performance.

The Stand Out Performance of the Games. Women's 4 x 100m relay.
More than half a second was slashed from the previous world record set by the powerful East Germans 27 years ago. This new world record was the stand out performance of the Games.
USA's "B" Team almost broke the world record during the heats. It was no surprise that the ínclusion of Jeter and Felix obliterated the previous World Record.
Well done Team USA and runners up Jamaica.

Women's 4 x 400 m relay.
Do you know that Allyson Felix ran more than a full second faster than her team mates, who had won the Gold and Bronze medals during the individual 400 m event?
This was the USA dream team. Its such a pity they just missed out on the World Record.

Men's 4 x 100m relay
Usain Bolt specifically and Yohan Blake are the "Mohammed Ali" of Athletics.
The Jamaicans were up against a powerful USA. Justin Gatlin ran a very good 2nd leg and had given USA the lead. It was evens when Bolt got the baton. We all know what happened then. Its wonderful that Athletics has got personalities like Bolt and Blake. The Brits love them.
I am happy that Justin Gatlin had a very good Olympics. He acknowledged my congratulations to him just after he had won the Doha 100m Diamond League.

Mo Farah
I had loved him from the World Championships. How his eyes almost popped out on the home straight is so funny.
He came to England as a refugee when only a child. Now he speaks fully like a local. He sacrificed being with his family by first training in Kenya, then with Alberto Salazar.
"Mo" is short for Mohammed. When I was playing hockey for the local village club in the UK, they called me "Mo" too.
Rumours are now rife that it will be "Sir Mo"soon. Arise Sir Mo, we are all so very happy for you.

Pandelela Rinong
She is Malaysia's first woman medallist, first medallist from a sport that is not badminton, first medallist from the Bidayuh community. Well done Pandelela, we are so happy for you and Sarawak.

The Closing Ceremony
Whilst a lot of it was "not my type". There were bits that made me wished that I was so there. Jessie J, Spice Girls, You should be dancing, Queen and We will rock you.
I feel like it was the best concert I have ever seen. How I wish I was there.

Well I am biased. She very graciously said "SURE" to my picture request during the Doha Diamond League. In Beijing she didn't get any individual gold medals.
This time around she got an individual gold from the 200m. Relay golds from the 4 x 100 m (World Record) and 4 x 400 m (running easily the fastest leg).
Congratulations Allyson Felix.


Simon said...

Awesome, beautifully written Sofian. I'd also add the Brownlee Brothers and Javier Gomez and Team GB track cycling but then I'm biased. Great article.

sofiantriathlete said...

You are very kind Simon. See you Sunday, Bukit Aman if you are still coming.
Best wishes

Sue's Ramblings said...

Fantastic write up. I think my fav moment was the hug between Mo Farah and Galen Rupp. Sports transcends political, religious and economic divide. BTW, great to see you out at BA-Hartamas this morning.

sofiantriathlete said...

thank you Sue.
Yes I liked Rupp talking about Mo after their 10 km race. Both are super nice guys.
Sports is wonderful.
Have a nice day.

Morning Owl said...

Well written. What about when Oscar Pistorius and Kirani James swapped name tags. James had his gold moment even before running in his finals.