|I live, breathe and bleed Olympics|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 17 July 2012 16:38|
I have a fever, but the prescription is not more cowbell. It’s Olympics. It’s competition, sports and people coming together as a nation to support the athletes representing their country.
Although I get the sense that my excitement for the Olympics is a tad unhealthy, I don’t care because I’m a patriot and I like wearing red, white and blue.
But I can’t be alone in this craving for the Olympics because let’s face it, the amount of sports that take place in the summer is little to none. The NBA’s season ends, NFL is not going on, NHL’s season ends and baseball is boring unless you’re at a game and even then, there are no guarantees. Plus there are no college athletics in the summer.
If there were no Olympics this year, then there never would have been a chance for Kobe Bryant to compare this year’s U.S. men’s basketball team to the Dream Team from 1992 comprised of greats such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. If Bryant had never made those comments, then what would sports journalists have talked about for the past week?
As a sports journalist, I was ready to write this column last week. Hell, I was ready to write it months ago as I have become rampant with Olympic fever. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: actually caring about competitive swimming, eating excessive amounts of Subway because that is what Olympians do (or is it an ISU thing?) and watching YouTube videos of Americans winning gold medals (shout out to Bruce Jenner for winning gold in the decathlon in 1976).
But what I have realized is that the U.S. is spoiled when it comes to the Olympics. We expect to win gold every time — at least that’s what I expect even though it doesn’t always pan out that way. No pressure, American athletes.
It’s weird to think about how other countries that aren’t powerhouses in essentially every sport must feel when the Olympics come around. We’re lucky in the U.S. because we have really talented athletes who bring home medals. Granted, in 2008 China had more gold medals than the U.S. but I’m going to chalk that up to home court advantage because the Games were in Beijing and the U.S. had more medals overall anyway.
This summer’s Olympics in London should be a similar story as the United States once again sends a gifted brood of people who are in much better shape than me to compete against athletes from all over the world.
Michael Phelps, America’s favorite swimmer, aka the only swimmer America knows, only needs three more medals to become the most decorated Olympian in the history of the world. He has seven races lined up and a good shot to leave athletes chasing his record for years, as per usual.
Despite not having Derrick Rose, the men’s basketball team is completely stacked and is predicted to wreak havoc on the competition. However, I am still hoping to see former Redbird Champ Oguchi tear up the court on Nigeria’s team.
Some of the members of the U.S. women’s soccer team have become something of celebrities. The team has a good chance to at least medal, but will undoubtedly face tough competition.
Gymnastics has always been my favorite Olympic sport overall and is often one that people tend to rally around, in part because the U.S. is usually very good, as they are this year, and also in part because of great moments like when gymnast Kerri Strug, stuck her vault landing on one leg in the 1996 Atlanta Games to win her team the gold.
I have no doubt that the people competing for the U.S. will make their country proud and I can’t wait to watch and finally be cured of my Olympic illness. At least for a few years, anyway.