I know the Olympics are way over and everyone's talking about the DNC, but our family is just now coming off of an Olympics high. For the first time since the '88 Olympics, I got to see the first week of the Games with my siblings, and occasionally Mami, when she was up for it. Taking into consideration how depressing this blog has been lately, I decided to share some of my favorite moments from the Beijing Olympics, in no particular order. Yes, this a completely Michael Phelps-free list, because although I'm definitely in awe of swimming's G.O.A.T., me thinks I've heard more than enough about the Boy Wonder from North Baltimore these past month.
Usain Bolt "jogging" in the 100-meter: Bolt's (what an awesome name for a sprinter) ability to beat everyone so quickly and showboat at the same time cracked us up from his opening heat. In what became a running joke in my family, my brother Jorge would re-enact Bolt's run, stopping to say hello to the crowd, take a phone call, write a letter to his Mama, have afternoon tea, etc. before crossing the finish line first. After all the swimming and gymnastics, Bolt was just what we needed to make the second half of the Games exciting.
Shawn and Nastia: It was sweet to watch the underdog American men get a bronze in the men's competition, but Shawn and Nastia were amazing. It's just too bad the scoring system isn't out of the proverbial 10 anymore. Like Al, Elfi and Tim all said, getting a 15 on one apparatus and more than 16 on another was just plain confusing, as was the odd tie-breaker on the uneven bars. Overall, Shawn and Nastia really saved the gymnastics competition from being completely dominated by the Chinese girls. Another reason we loved women's gymnastics is the heart-melting story of Germany's 33-year-old Soviet-born gymnast Oksana Chusovitina.
Dara Torres: We've long heard 40 is the new 30, but Dara takes it to a new level. Her amazing body has been on full display in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and NBC, but seeing the body in action, even for just a half-minute at at time, was breathtaking. She's an inspiration for all women, young, old and everything in between.
Surprise winners: Whether it was swimmerJason Lezak's bringing home the gold in the fastest split of his career or runner Sanya Richards out-kicking a front-running Russian, or Aussie Matt Michum winning the 10m-platform gold on his very last dive, there was no drought of thrilling medal wins.
Commercials like the Nike one featuring Marvin Gaye's National Anthem
I had recently seen PBS' American Masters documentary about the Motown legend, so I was blown away when my brother mentioned the commercial, which I must've been fast-forwarding through until he brought it up. After that we watched it, along with our favorite other commercials, like the Morgan Freeman-narrated Visa commercials. Gotta love Marvin Gaye's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which he sang at the 1983 All-Star NBA Game.