That was quick. For four years, you waited with bated breath as weeks and months crept by. You had birthday, birthday, birthday and, well, birthday, and then it was time.
In grand ceremonial style, the Summer Games returned. Then, in what appeared to be no more than the click of a remote and a couple of flip-flops on the couch, they were done.
At our house, the Olympics are heralded with varied emotions. There’s relative indifference from the 20-and-under crowd. From the person with the inner pom-pom girl, there’s excitement, patriotic shouting and enthusiastic handsprings. And from the fellow who was born with no pom-poms, inner or outer, there’s dejection, resignation and deep, gale-force sighing accompanied by longing glances at the remote control.
As always, it was a season of drama. Of highs and lows, exhilaration and heartbreak. Of pushing one’s self to the limit for mom and country. All of which those athletes did as well.
Oh, there was drama, alright. Who wasn’t riveted, bolted to the furniture at the sight of Mr. Bolt, Jamaican legend, setting records in a blur of heels and elbows?
Then there was the U.S. women’s relay team who, as Dad Yoder would say, “kicked in the afterburners” and won the gold. The entire nation rose as one, grinning along with Carmelita Jeter as she crossed the finish line, face splitting straight in two. Even Mr. No Pom-Poms cracked a smile.
There was drama, too, in the North Greenwich Arena where the world’s top gymnasts gathered to vault, leap, twist, swing and do the splits. Again, the girls of Team USA did us proud, bagging the gold. And again, the nation came together, beaming in a collective display of molars and gums when little Gabby Douglas won the individual competition.
Cameras that cut away from the action showed the parents of the athletes in the stands. A few of them, I noted, were performing rudimentary gymnastics in tandem with their offspring.