Friday, August 26, 2016

THE ATHLETIC QUEST: GUTS AND GLORY

 Wait a minute,....I have to wait FOUR MORE YEARS for another Olympics? It's a sad but very happy goodbye to the games in Rio...and a hello to Tokyo in 2020! In spite of all the pre-games negativity about Brazil's financial problems and all the doping scandal in Russia, we enjoyed an absolutely amazing sporting event! We witnessed the splendor of 206 I.O.C. membership nations competing on the largest stage the world has ever seen. There are so many heart wrenching (and pounding) stories in the pursuit of greatness. We all have our favorite Olympic stories during these games, but one of my favorites is the Gold Medal victory by Matthew Centrowitz in the 1500 meter run. His gold medal is the first in this event in 108 years! I'll share more of my favorites with you. 



My favorite Michael Phelps' moments? It may be a toss up for one of the very greatest Olympic athletes of all time swimming to Gold,...or watching him kissing his fiance Nicole and their baby Boomer! Michael has retired from the competitive scene with a grand total of 28 Olympic medals, 23 in Gold! I wonder when Boomer will begin his "two-a-day" workouts and "dry-land" training?


 I have watched Jennie Simpson since her early days at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I screamed like a crazy person watching her run to third place in the 1500 meter run, the first EVER by an American woman in the 1500 meter run in Olympic history.


Katie Ledecky is the queen of competitive swimming now and will be in the future! There has never been anyone like her!


Allyson Felix has won more Olympic medals than any woman in U.S. track & field history! Her prowess on the oval and her class outside of track is wonderful! Her final leg in the woman's 4 x 400 relay was blazing!


Talking about speed, Simone Manuel became the first African American to win an Olympic swimming Gold Medal ever! She was fabulous in the 100, 50, and sprint relays!


One of the biggest thrills was watching our gymnastic team win Gold! Simone Biles on the left, perfomed flawlessly for the Gold in the all-Around! Each team member was a super star! They all were awesome! 



Talking about 5000 meter drama, Abbey d'Agostino, top image, laying on the track, tripped up New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin causing them both to fall. Abbey helped Nikki up and told her to finish, but then fell back down on the track in terrible pain. Nikki then helped Abbey to get up and they both finished. It was a heart wrenching sight. Abbey was latter diagnosed with a torn ACL. What sportsmanship!


Maya DiRado's come from behind finish to win Gold in the 200 meter backstroke blew everyone away! Loved her spirit and fortitude to never give up!


Gaylen Rupp's Bronze medal in the marathon was particularly fabulous! He had to pull himself up after a disappointing 5th in the 10,000.


Usain Bolt, Jamaica's "laughing man" continues as the world's most famous sprinter in history as he smiles while finishing first in the 100 meter dash! This was his third consecutive Olympic Gold in the 100!


The "Time Trial" is arguably one of the most difficult cycling events! It is often called the "race of truth." Kristin Armstrong came out of retirement to win her third consecutive Gold in this grueling event! 


Michel Carter is THE WOMAN! She became the FIRST AMERICAN woman EVER to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the shot put!


Not every Olympian can stand on the podium. Colorado's own, Missy Franklin, tried her very best in her signature events which gained her Gold in London 2012. 
She did not win a medal, but swimming fans love her no matter what for her leadership and good spirits, even when she was inwardly in pain. At her family home in Centennial Colorado, fans placed hundreds of pink hearts with personal messages on them! Lookout Tokyo! Missy will be back! 


Another U.S. Olympic first was Ibtihaj Muhammad wearing a Hijab in the fencing competition. She may not have won a medal, but she impressed many spectators with her spirit and sense of the moment!


This Sports Illustrated cover really says it all! They were the STARS of the show!

***Check out the YouTube on the closing ceremony in case you missed it!





Images: Bustle.com, Ibtimes.co.uk, Business insider, USAftw, Telegraph.co.uk, Chron.com,NYTimes, Just jared.com, Chicago Tribune, YouTube, KDRV, ABC news, Miami Herald, Yahoo.com, Sports Illustrated

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