London 2012 Inspired Me to Become a Competitor in Modern Pentathlon, and Other Thoughts

Ever since 2005, when the IOC announced that London would host the 2012 Summer Olympics, I’ve been looking forward to these Games. And the past 16 days have not disappointed. The London Games have been cheerful, awe-inspiring, fiery, good-natured and just plain fun. So as I watch the Closing Ceremonies, I think it’s time to reflect on the awesomeness that was London.

  • The Kerri-Misty Trilogy—so genuine, you just can’t help cheering for them.
  • I would like Mary Carillo’s job—CALL ME, NBC!! I have no credentials except a love of travel, a passion for the Olympics, and a desire to meet Bob Costas. And really, what else do you need?
  • Speaking of Bob Costas, let’s give him a round of applause. He doesn’t show up much on the NBC Sports coverage that I watch (You would have to pay me to watch Sunday Night Football), but when he does, he reminds me how much I miss him the rest of the time. Exhibit A of Bob’s awesomeness: When questioned about his favorite Spice Girl, he had an answer. And named two others. I love him forever.

Be still, my heart.

  • Diving—easily one of my favorite Olympic sports. Has been ever since 2004, when Greece won Men’s Synchro. Especially this year. Hearing Cynthia worry about the size of the divers’ splashes MAKES MY LIFE.

My favorite thing about diving? The scoring chart.

  • Women’s Soccer—clichéd, but I still think it’s awesome.
  • Cheering for Britain. I have my Olympic cheering rules—Cheer for Canada, the USA and the Host country.  Canada is a random choice—I have a Canadian hat. The USA is obvious—I live there. Sometimes, if I none of my normal choices are competing, I’ll cheer for Uzbekistan, or Sweden, or Australia. Or SWITZERLAND—it is the land of my ancestors, after all. But it has been a pleasure to cheer for Great Britain. During the retrospective of British medalists during Closing Ceremonies coverage, I was so happy that they were happy.
  • Girl Power—did anyone notice how many wins American women had? Or was that just me? Well, I’m pointing it out now. I think it’s safe to say that Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, Gabby Douglas, Maggie Steffens, Hope Solo and Kim Rhode (look her up—she’s America’s unsung Olympic hero) are some of my new heroes. And watching my nine-year-old neighbor talk about Aly Raisman reminds me of when I was 8 and woke my mother up at 2am to find out if Tara Lipinski won a gold medal in figure skating. Other international women were inspiring too—see: Jessica Ennis, Pandelela Rinong, Caster Semenya, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The tagline of these games was “Inspire a Generation” and to that I have to say—MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
  • The Modern Pentathlon. This is my favorite event that I’ve never watched, you guys. They jump on an unfamiliar horse, shoot, fence, run and swim. All in one day. Who needs these skills anymore? MODERN PENTATHLETES. Needless to say, tomorrow I’m taking up fencing. And show jumping. And shooting. I should also probably start running and swimming more often. You’ll see me in 2016—RIO HERE I COME.
  • Michael Phelps. I don’t care how you feel about him, his performance was incredible. His abs alone could save the world.

Starving children could eat off of these abs.

And now for the the Closing Ceremonies—I returned from an errand with my mother to find that Annie Lennox and the casts of Interview with the Vampire/Phantom of the Opera/Pirates of Penzance have taken over my television. I am LOVING IT and I can’t even put it in context.

Can someone please tell me what is happening here?

And in comes RUSSELL BRAND ON A MAGICAL BUS SINGING PURE IMAGINATION. This is a party I can get behind. Also THE SPICE GIRLS. And Ode to British Comedy? I say YES! Bring on the Pythons! And the…giant cannon?  With more flying bicycles? No matter, I still approve. Because ERIC IDLE IS IN THE HOUSE!!! YOU GUYS!!! ALL MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE!! Sure, there weren’t any angels or roller skating nuns or dancing gladiators in my dream, but it’s totally fine. Because Prince Harry is singing along!

Look at all this stuff that is happening!

 

I want to live in this ceremony

Passing the flag to Rio…WELL DONE LONDON. GOLD MEDAL FOR YOU!

And here comes Rio! I can’t wait to see what party they have in store for us.  Carnival is here with a street dancer and I am so excited for 2016! Even more excited than I was for London, if that’s possible. Apparently the theme is “Embrace your passion” and I am ready to just give Brazil a huge hug. I find this whole section very soothing and colorful. AND THEN PELE SHOWS UP. AND THE WHOLE STADIUM EXPLODES. YAY RIO DE JANEIRO 2016!

The Generosity of spirit from London have made these happy and glorious games indeed.

The flame is extinguished, but Fawkes the Phoenix makes an appearance to calm us all for another four years until Rio.

 

*sighs*

Bravo, London.  The Isles of Wonder have truly been wonderful. Hugs and kisses from Hannah!

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