Olympics 2016: It's a Wrap in Rio

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Aside from presidential elections, nothing quite reminds us of how fast four years flies like the Olympics.  This year’s games had a unique task though--manage to be more of a show than the country’s political landscape.  Well, it did!  And how!  In fact, I actually found Rio 2016 to be just what the USA needed—unity.  Stepping away from the daily grind to gasp, fist pump & applaud the achievements of such dedicated athletes was truly welcomed.  From the opening ceremony …that boosted the tourism google search of Tonga…to THE party of all parties of a closing ceremony there was plenty to notice in between…..

What I’ll miss:

o   The unstoppable talent of the Final Five of ladies gymnastics. Simone, Madison, Gabby, Laurie & Aly had their share of girls…young and young at heart alike….captivated with their mastery of high flying uneven bars, dazzling floor routines, tightrope like balance beam combinations, & mid-air turning moves off of the vault. And if that weren’t enough, their contagious personalities will be a tough act for the Next Five to follow.

o   The USA’s complete domination in the pool!  As much as I thoroughly enjoy swimming underwater & a leisurely backstroke…something tells me these activities will not be a part of the Olympic lineup anytime soon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to marvel at the ease at which these guys & gals navigate the lanes of a pool as if they were born in it.  Simone Manuel’s historic stroke to victory, Katie Ledecky’s ability to shatter a record set by none other than Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps adding to his collection of Olympic hardware, were a sight to behold!

o   The historic moves that carried over to track & field.  Allyson Felix becoming the most decorated Olympic track star, Michelle Carter…going a step further than her father’s silver medal in 1984, by capturing gold in the Shot Put….and an All USA podium appearance of Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali & Kristi Castlin after taking out a broom during the 110 m hurdles….had us all on the edge of our seats.  Although I’m bursting with USA pride, it would be unfathomable to mention track & field without mentioning the person who is synonymous with this category---Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.  Wow, there.are.no.words!!

o   After becoming a fixture at the Beach Volleyball gold medal round in previous games, the grace of Kerri Walsh Jennings in acknowledging there was no shame in playing for the bronze was indeed noteworthy!

What absolutely won’t be missed—in no particular order:

o   Social media’s role in everything---wanted or otherwise.  The backlash placed on Gabby Douglas for not placing her hand over her heart during a medals ceremony would have had the uninformed think she was playing on her smartphone while the anthem was being sung! 

o   Hope Solo’s actions & antics being the exact opposite of what the games are all about in the first place. There comes a time when enough is enough….that time, USA Women’s Soccer leadership, is now! And the time for a new goalie talent search was yesterday!

o   Ryan Lochte’s shenanigans. You know how parents often say their child got caught up with the wrong crowd?  Well the parents of the other three swimmers in the shady robbery that wasn’t…could say this with accuracy.  Lochte is, was and with 32 years under his belt, will most likely remain “extra”…..

After an uber unique passing of the torch, sand has already begun trickling down in the four year hourglass.  The jaw dropping scenery and phenomenal physical accomplishments of the athletes will be hard to top…something tells me though, Tokyo & its participants, are up for the challenge!!

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