Almost half way through the Olympics and the action only seems to be heating up for America. Currently tied for second in medal count next to China, but not second in memorable moments. There are a big four of Olympic events that America prides itself in competing and winning. They are basketball, swimming, gymnastics, and track & field.
The past two days have seen historic moments within swimming and gymnastics. Swimmer Michael Phelps became the athlete with the most medals within the Olympic Games in history when he claimed his nineteenth overall medal. He then won his 20th yesterday. His teammate, Ryan Locthe also won a couple of gold medals. Other swimming medals include Misty Franklin claiming a couple of gold medals as well. Gymnast Gabby Douglas won gold in best all around in gymnastics becoming only the second American to complete this task.
Is this not America? We pride ourselves on sports domination and on the world’s greatest stage, we should shine. But also, the athletes represent all facets of American culture. Michael Phelps, an avid rap fan, shouted out Lil’ Wayne and Jeezy after winning his latest medal. This would not have been expected eight years ago and truly shows the influence and merging of cultures that is America. There’s also Ryan Lochte wearing an iced out grill after claiming his gold medal. There’s no doubt that you’ll probably hear some kind of heavy bass pumping from their locker room.
Then there’s Gabby Douglas. The pint-size gymnast’s story is what happens to everyday Americans. It’s the story of sacrifice. Her mother decided that it was best for her daughter leave her home in Virginia and travel to Iowa and train in order to help her daughter’s dream come true. She’s the first African American gymnast to win the competition. Douglas says she loves the pressure. That’s something Americans look for within their athletes. We build our confidence from theirs. That’s something that’s in all the Olympic winners.
The USA basketball team, who are considered more like celebrities than competitive athletes, just trounced Nigeria by scoring an Olympic-record 156 points and dropping three pointers like rain drops. Their only competition is Spain who I’m sure can’t keep up with the speed, strength, and scoring ability of the USA.
There’s also a medal in Judo, a first for an American, and shooting. Let’s see what else America can pride ourselves on in these next few days.