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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Gold Fever

Fireworks during the closing ceremony of 2012 London Olympics (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

And yet another edition of the Olympics comes to an end. And I'm left surfing aimlessly through the channels trying to find something (anything!) to fill the void left by it =(

 But what a roller-coaster ride of two weeks! 

Love Affair with Olympics
Me and my family have always been huge fans of the Olympics. Since I can remember, my parents would always watch eagerly the opening ceremony and keep tabs on all major events. But it was only during the Sydney Olympics in 2000 that I caught the Olympic fever. During its opening ceremony, I watched open-mouthed at the underwater sequence where the whole stadium seemed to be converted into a huge aquarium with gigantic sea creatures gracefully swimming in the air. I was hooked! I remember rushing back home from school everyday and tuning in to the channel showing the Olympics and just watching whatever sport they were airing at that time. 
Opening Ceremony, 2000 Sydney Olympics

And then started my love affair with Olympics. Maybe its just the fact that it occurs only once in 4 years; the sheer rarity of it was just alluring! The incredible feats of endurance and all the drama accompanying it. Whether it be the world records broken or the losing competitors' hearts broken; the true stories of underdogs gain victory or the equally true stories of people who resort to drugs to achieve success. I sapped up everything fervently!

London 2012
This edition of the Olympics id not fail and provided all the entertainment that I craved. I did think the opening ceremony was somewhat unsatisfactory. Although, China is definitely a tough act to follow with their militaristic perfection and flawless performances. I cant deny that there were definitely some entertaining segments (namely Mr. Bean performing and the skydiving "Queen") . Judging by all the comments online, the Britons seem to have enjoyed the ceremony immensely but they do agree the performance had too many elements that couldn't be appreciated by the rest of the world.

But the games themselves were carried out perfectly and, as far as I believe, without major glitches. And the closing ceremony was fantastic! It was just like a never-ending party with performances by both upcoming and renowned British artists. It had me foot-tapping at times and immensely moved by others (namely, the montage of different emotions exhibited by  the participants at  the London games, set to the backdrop of a beautiful rendition of  "Read All About It" by Emeli Sandé - You can watch it here.)

Unforgettable Moments of the Games
(According to me)
  • As I mentioned before I loved the comic segment during the Opening Games where Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean  played a few integral notes during Chariots of Fire whilst constantly checking his iPhone and  day dreaming his take on a scene from the movie.  =D
Rowan Atkinson at London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony (via
  • Usain Bolt winning gold again and again and, oh wait, yet again! Those were truly THE races to watch. The way Bolt just emerged out of the pack of runners and zoomed to the finish line to be the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m sprint titles, was just incredible (though Yohan Blake was not that far behind)!! Oh and lets not forget that he set a new Olympic record in the 100m and, along with his fellow Jamaican athletes,  a new World record in the 4x100m relay! You the man!
Usain Bolt nearing the finish line of the 200m race (
  • When Liu Xang of China struck the first hurdle in the 110m hurdles heat and tumbled onto the track.  He had, earlier, bowed out of the Beijing Olympics because of the same Achilles injury. We saw him clutching his right heel and hopping painfully back to the nearest stadium tunnel. And then we saw him hesitating and turning around. Hopping, wincing and gritting his teeth, he made his way down the 110m, the one that he hadn't completed at an Olympics for eight years, to the last hurdle and gave it a kiss. And then he hopped across the finish line. Hungarian hurdler Balazs Baji, who had started the heat next to him, grabbed Liu's right arm and thrust it into the air: a champion, nonetheless. Touched my heart  honestly!

  • When Micheal Phelps proved he was the greatest swimmer of all time and bid goodbye to the Olympics with an overhaul of 22 medals (a whopping 18 of them being gold!!)
  • When we watched the South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius make history and advance to the 400-meter semifinals with a 2nd place finish in the heats! If that isn't inspiring enough to destroy the couch potato in me, then I don't know what is.
  • The segment during the closing ceremony where children in white T-shirts, with "Imagine" emblazoned on them, sang Lennon's "Imagine". Probably it were the lyrics of the song painting a picture of a utopia we all crave and the fact that it was so appropriately sung, but I found this segment incredibly touching. I loved it when a sculpture of John Lennon was erected during the song and as the song ended the sculpture fell apart releasing white balloons into the air. Ah, beautiful!
  • As the curtain fell on the Olympics and the flame of the Olympic torch was about to be quelled, a phoenix soared above the Olympic stadium reminding us that though the games may be over for now, a brand new edition is on its way . 

Now I have to settle down to a long wait till 2016 for Rio to dazzle me! *sigh* Until then I guess I'll have to do with the watching soaps or reality TV to get my daily fix of excitement and drama ;-)

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