The Summer 2012 Olympics in London were stunning. The entire event came together in the spirit of what the Olympics are supposed to be – sportsmanship; a bit of glamour; and some wonderful surprises. No security alerts. No mobs – the news centered on the games and the athletes as it should. Cheers, London!
Opening Ceremonies: The British Way
After Beijing wowed the world with their opening ceremonies, everyone was on pins and needles to see what the British had in store. We were promised a more “modest” piece, but the homeland to such greats as Dickens, Shakespeare, James Bond, Mary Poppins, The Beatles, the industrial age -- how could you NOT have a great opening ceremony? From Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig allegedly jumping out of a helicopter with Union Jacks on their parachutes to the “Mary Poppins” saving the children from Voldemort, the opening ceremonies celebrated British achievements with a wonderful showmanship and style. It mixed the old and the young and while it may not have gone as far back as the Wars of the Roses, it gave the world what it wanted. Harry Potter and great music.
Why is this a great moment? Oh a million reasons – Gabby Douglas grabbed the coveted goal and her smile was one that resonated across the globe. Gabby was not the favorite however. Jordyn Wieber was expected to take this coveted prize and Gabby upstaged her better known teammate. The 4’11” sixteen year old was graceful in not just her routines but in winning as well. As the first African American to ever win this gold medal – Gabby will inspire many. Russian contenders Viktoria Komova (15.100) and Aliya Mustafina (14.600) turned in solid performances – Gabby definitely had her work cut out for her but she was up for the challenge.
While the United States was the favorite for this event, there was still some hesitation if the US team could pull itself out of its funk and take gold. After all, the Bahamas fields one of the most powerful teams in Track and Field –Chris Brown and Demetrius were no match for Angelo Taylor who closed strong to take Gold.
How can you not mention “Michael Phelps” who took more Gold medals than any other Olympian after swimming an anchor leg in the 4x200 freestyle relay? Michael Phelps performance at this event and others during the Games allowed him to break the record for most medals previously set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won her 18th in Tokyo in 1964.We see (even) more cereal boxes and magazine ads in his future.
They say that the 2012 Olympics were about the women. In some cases you might say they were about the “girls” as another teen – 16 year old Ye Shiwen -- took the gold in the 400 IM and according to the Bleacher ReportHer final 50 meters were faster than American star Ryan Lochte'swere in the men's competition (he won gold).” Imagine what this girl could possibly do at 20 in Brazil?
About the Author: Brian Rattner is a social entrepreneur and a successful Lawyer in Greater New York City specializing in Debtor/Creditor issues, Contracts and Mortgage Foreclosures including both prosecution and defense.