12 AUGUST 2012 :: LONDON OLYMPICS
Today is the final day of the London Olympics and I feel an odd sense of sadness. I don't know how I'll fill the post Olympic void. NFL football is four weeks away, College football only three weeks off, I should be salivating at the thought. Instead I am mourning the end of an incredible Olympic games.
12 years ago I thought Sydney was headed for disaster, but we ended up with the best two weeks of Sydney life I ever experienced. I had similar pessimistic thoughts about London 2012. London transport fails to cope with an average workday, how was it going to deal with an Olympic games?!!? But it did, transport has been a breeze the whole time.
(Excellent transport has been a bittersweet experience, if the transport can work for the games, it can work year around, damn it!)
Given the private security debacle weeks before the opening ceremony, getting people into events was another potential disaster waiting to unfold. Most of the security was handled by uniformed military personnel. Young guys and girls in active service who could have been deployed anywhere. I suppose they consider themselves fortunate to have been given Olympic security detail. I spoke to several over the course of the games, every single one of them was friendly, helpful and genuinely enjoying being part of the Olympic experience.
While my memory of Sydney 2000 is one massive party, London 2012 has been a very different experience. The sport has been front and center, the party scene virtually non existent.
I had tickets to four events, fencing, volleyball, handball and hockey. The standard of competition was outstanding, topped only by the vocal and passionate fans filling each arena.
Some of the highlights include, three Korean fans managing to rally thousands of Brits into chanting "dae-han-min-guk!" during the volleyball. While it ignited the crowd, it couldn't spark the Korean team, who lost valiantly to the USA. Discovering handball, it's lightening fast, athletic and physical. What more can you ask for? During the hockey semi-final, 4 guys with trumpets formed a makeshift band. Like good musicians they kept playing while team GB drowned on the field. It reminded me of why I love college sport, not that Stanford ever drown on the field ;-)
Ahhhh my beloved Cardinal, perhaps the sense of Olympic loss will end after all.
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.