Sunday, 12 August 2012

Post London Olympic Games syndrome: my top 10 London Olympic Games 2012 highlights

Since Friday, it's been blowing a gale here in Sydney. It's typical this time of year when the August winds tear through town, determined to rip off a few roofs and cause general mayhem.

On Friday night, just as we were about to tune into the Olympics coverage at 5.30pm, our suburb had a power blackout. The Hiss and I were devastated. We are addicted to the Olympics so it felt like cold turkey.

Then Spanner came to the rescue. He just happened to have a generator under the house.

I take the piss out of Spanner constantly in my blog but on Friday night I had to give credit where it was due. We were the only house in the street sucking the grid for three-and-a-half hours. The Hiss and I got our Olympics fix, Spanner had a hot shower and I made spaghetti bolognaise (we have a gas stove top) and stewed apples.

Outside, the streetlights were off and feeble candlight wavered from a few apartment windows. 

Now it's Sunday night and I'm sick as a dog (that's a whole other unglamorous story that involved freezing my boot-ay off in a desolate backyard in Woy Woy).

The wind is still howling down under and the Olympic Games are coming to an end in London. So sad. The Hiss and I will suffer from Post London Olympic Games syndrome. It'll take a couple of weeks to recover and I'm determined to ban bad reality TV in our house.

Here are my Top Ten London Olympic Games 2012 highlights in no particular order:

1. The women's marathon run. I thought the three Kenyans had it in the bag but Ethiopian Tiki Gelana showed incredible stamina (gold), as did the Russian Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova (bronze) who emerged from seemingly nowhere to challenge Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo (silver).

2. The look on Moh Farah's face as he grabbed gold for Great Britain in the 5000m track and field run, having claimed the 10,000m a week earlier.

3. The final of the women's 100m hurdles when Australian Sally Pearson pipped the defending champion Dawn Harper, from the USA, by 0.02 seconds to break the Olympic record in a time of 12.35. At first no one was sure who won the race, so close together were the two women over the line. When the scoreboard showed Pearson's name, she screamed and fell to the ground. When she rose to her feet, a gracious Harper gave her a hug. How good is that?

4. I stayed up late to watch the women's 10 kilometre swim, which was fought out in the muddy Serpentine in London's Hyde Park. Hungary's Eva Risztov led for most of the way around a course that gave nothing back to the swimmers - it wasn't salty (no buoyancy) nor tidal (no current) or clear (dense, murky and thick). It looked like the Hungarian could not be beaten, as she put a fair distance between herself and the three other swimmers in the lead pack - USA's Hayley Anderson, Italy's Martina Grimaldi and Great Britain's Keri-anne Payne. However, as she raced for the finish line she was challenged by the Italian and then the American, who hit the touch pad suspended at the finish a second later. But the win was all Risztov's, who emerged from the sludge looking like she'd just completed a few casual laps of the local pool.

5. Sailing. Come on Aussie come on come on! Australia didn't have much to crow about at this Olympics but our sailors quiet achievements in Weymouth, away from the swimmers shenanigans at the aquatic centre in London - were finally acknowledged. Tom Slingsby was first up with our first individual gold medal in the laser class; next came the 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen followed by Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page in the men's 470s. Our girls got silver in the match racing final, with Spain taking the gold. Now Australia is officially a nation of sailors, not swimmers. Ahoy me hearties! Pirates/sailors = same diff!

6. LIVING LEGEND USAIN BOLT. What's not to like about the charming Jamaican who went to the London Olympics  looking to become a living legend. He's now being compared to Mohamad Ali. Nothing can stop him. Not even the might of the US 4x100 men's relay team. Bolt is a 6'5" Jamaican powerhouse with superstar, solid-gold charisma. He killed it in the 100m and 200m sprints, and then brought it home for his country in a world-record time of 36.84 in the 4x100 men's relay - with the assistance of teammates Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater. God bless the big man.   

7. The rhythmic gymnastics had it all - looks, double joints and loads of bling. The routines were sensational, with the Russians demonstrating their amazing talent with the ball, ribbon, clubs and hoop. Their balletic routines involved flinging the apparatus miles into the air and then performing a triple-jointed-backwards-quadruple-triple-flip-and-scissor thingy before landing gracefully to catch the apparatus - either on the tip of a toe or behind the neck! It was mind-boggling. And their costumes were worthy of a separate awards category - they sparkled and glittered with more bling than Liberace's dinner suit. The gold medal went to the brilliant Evgeniya Kanaeva of Russia for the All-Around Rhythmic Gymnastics final.

8. Jessica Ennis. Beautiful and powerful, Ennis held it together for Great Britain to win gold in the women's heptathlon. Watch out Sally - Ennis says she's thinking about moving into hurdles for the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

9. Michael Phelps. The big American scored gold in the pool for the 22nd time to seal his status as the world's greatest athlete. In London he managed gold in 100m butterfly, gold in men's 4x100 medley, gold in men's 200 IM, gold in men's 4x200 freestyle relay.

10. Runner 2079 in the men's marathon. Marial Guor has spent a lot of his life running away from death and despair. He endured slavery and torture in his homecountry of Sudan and fled to the USA in the late 1990s. He is in the men's marathon as I write, today running for the joy of it. He was able to enter as an Independent Olympic Athlete because he didn't qualify for the US team but felt that he couldn't run for Sudan. GO MARIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anita Joy said...

Shayne, I'm an Olympics tragic too. But I'm sure your upcoming time on the Gold Coat will help overcome your withdrawals.

See you in a few days!

Shayne said...

Hi Anita,
Yep, I'm limbering up for the Olympic Romance Writers' Games on the Gold Coast.



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