Michael Phelps passed Larisa Latynina as the winner of the most Olympic medals on July 31, 2012. Fittingly, it was teamwork that made it possible.
He was given the honor of anchoring the 800m freestyle relay.
19 medals and counting... (15 Gold!!! 2 silver!! 2 bronze!)
Then what can I say about the USA Women's Gymnastics team?
They took my breath away! Fab Five indeed!
Congratulations to all the elite athletes who competed, who qualified,
whether they take home a medal or not.
Special thanks to the coaches, parents, fans and supporters.
We admire that competitive spirit and desire to do your best.
On a personal note, I was a little saddened reflecting on how the Olympics have changed in my lifetime. When I was a girl, watching the games, I could imagine competing in them. With the inclusion of professionals, the political overtones, and the social changes that have resulted in an obesity epidemic in the United States, I don't think kids today have that chance. Many don't even have regular physical education classes in schools anymore. I had to take my daughter to a private gymnastics facility when she was little, and most of these girls (they are only kids) had to leave home to train with the best coaches. I know some kids attend boarding school, but the idea of leaving your family is a sacrifice.
Then there's the financial aspect. I love volleyball, but the indoor team volleyball doesn't get a smidgen of the press that the beach volleyball teams receive. (And we know why...) Other than fencing and a few other competitions, we had exposure to many of the events. I was watching the show jumping today and fondly remembering riding my pony at my grandparents' farm.
So my hope is that going forward, Americans can remind ourselves of the importance of PLAY - both for health but also in learning how to work together for a shared victory.