A Trip Across the Pond: An Olympics Overview

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From http://bostinno.com/2012/07/27/bostinno-approved-weekend-edition-7272012/olympic-rings/

Lilly Hetson, Co-Editor-in-Chief

London, England is one of the most recognizable cities in the world for its landmarks, like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace; fashion, including iconic lines and characters like Victoria Beckham and Burberry; and royalty, of course. However, this year, London became well known for a different reason: the 2012 Summer Olympics.

London became the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times in the modern era; the most any city has ever hosted the event. The people of London did not take this lightly. The opening ceremonies referenced the development of the United Kingdom as a whole, and literary works, such as the well known Harry Potter series and Peter Pan. With appearances from Annie Lennox, J.K. Rowling, and Paul McCartney, the 2012 Olympics were on to an exciting start.

Then, the real competitions began. First up was cycling. The track circled around the major landmarks in the area, starting and finishing at Buckingham Palace. The most recent Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, won this event. Wiggins was the first British man to win the Tour de France and carried his win over to the Olympics.

Swimming was next in line. The Lochte/Phelps rivalry came to a head in the 400 IM when Ryan Lochte won a gold medal while Michael Phelps did not receive a medal at all, placing fourth. The two would go on to race together in the 200 Relay, winning gold, and 400 Relay, Lochte being barely out touched by the French. Natalie Coughlin tied with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson for having the most medals for an American Female Swimmer. Seventeen-year-old Missy Franklin also made a name for herself, setting a World Record in the 200 meter backstroke and an American Record in the 100 meter backstroke. Other swimmers who made their way to the medal stand were Matt Grevers, Allison Schmitt, Nathan Adrian, Cullen Jones, and 15-year-old Katie Ledecky.

The United States women placed first in the team aspect of gymnastics for the first time since 1996. Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordan Wieber, McKayla Maroney, and Kyla Ross became the “Fab Five”, beating out the Russians with Raisman’s floor routine to the Jewish folk-song “Hava Nagila”. The biggest upset of the night occurred when Wieber did not qualify for the “All-Around” competition, although in the end, her team made sure she won a gold medal. McKayla Maroney placed second in the Individual Vault, earning a silver medal, though she was expected to place first based on her performance in the preliminaries. Her expression on the medal stand caused bloggers to run to their computers, creating a meme that is sure not to go out of style. Gabby Douglas became the first African American to win the “All-Around” competition.

While the American women flourished in the gym, the men flopped, not even coming close to earning a medal. There were mistakes in almost every event and falls were plentiful for this group of strong, determined men. Although these events did not go well for the Americans, other countries flourished. Great Britain won its first medal, a bronze, and China kept up its winning streak.

In tennis, Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the gold, also beating out the Czech team in the Doubles competition with her sister, Venus. The current Wimbledon championship match was replayed with a different outcome. Andy Murray beat the reigning champion, Roger Federer, in a very close match

The top three on the medal standing chart at the end of the week were the United States with 104, China with 88, and Russia with 82.

The ten days of competition ended with a grand concert including performers Jesse J, the remaining members of Queen, George Michael, and the most anticipated reunion of the night, The Spice Girls. The night ended with a pass off to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. If Rio’s closing performance is half as good as their closing number, I will be sitting on pins and needles until the summer of 2016.