With the US basketball team defeating Spain 118-107 in the gold medal game, the 2008 summer Olympics are done. The closing ceremonies have already happened, though they will be on tv at 7 EST.
Overall this has to rank as a very good Olympics. I know there are people who don’t want to hear anything about the games and just want to bitch about human rights, Communism and the environment, and that’s fine. Now that the games are over, go right ahead. But the quality of competition in Beijing was great. The swimming events captured this nation probably unlike any other games. There are certainly questions about the legitimacy of some of the swimming records but then again everyone had the same suits and swam in the same pool. There was (and maybe still is) controversy in gymnastics, an unbelievable showing by the Jamaican track team, most notably triple world record breaker Usain Bolt, there was the tragedy-triumph story with the US men’s volleyball team after the coach’s father-in-law was murdered, and dozens of other stories that for once weren’t focused mostly on sob stories of rough backgrounds or overcoming the odds.
The greatest swimming performance of all-time and quite possibly the greatest sprinting performance of all-time wrapped into a week’s time is pretty tough to beat, even if we had to watch a lot of them twelve hours later than they happened.
Now that the games are over this country will fall back into it’s obsession with football, with college starting this coming week. Baseball will pennant races are heating up and amazingly, basketball is only two months away. I’ll be glad to spend time watching (and writing about) these sports on a more frequent basis, but it really was great to have the Olympics come through again. Let’s hope the games in 2012 can measure up.