Today is Independence Day in the United States of America. Because of that, I know that most of you won’t read this on the 4th. In honor of y’all out partying it up instead of reading my post on the 4th, I wrote this on the 3rd after having a slice of ‘1776’ pizza at Epic Pizza & Subs and a few Schlafly beers. . . then a few Budweisers. Don’t judge me too much, the Bud was left in my fridge. I didn’t purchase it.
Happy 4th and please take a moment to salute the lives of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Those proud fathers of America both died on this day in 1826, the 50th birthday of this country.
What subject embodies the spirit of this Country, is current and most importantly, will keep me interested and awake? The upcoming London Olympics of course.
Even in this day and age of multi-multi million dollar contracts, 24/7 sports on tv and the like, there is still something uniquely special about the Olympics.
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London will open July 25th at 10 AM CST when Great Britain and New Zealand take the pitch in a Women’s Football (Soccer) group stage match. They will officially open July 27th with the Opening Ceremonies. They will close August 12th with the Closing Ceremonies. You can bet at both of these you will have no clue what is going on, like in Beijing. Then again, nothing about China really makes sense.
I would argue that there are very few things more American than supporting the athletes wearing the red, white and blue in the Summer or Winter Olympics. At no other time will you see more eyes glued to a screen to watch running, swimming and gymnastics. This a country that will watch humans in cars going in circles or people shorter than the average human riding horses around a track. Some things in life just don’t make sense.
In 2008, athletes representing the USA won 36 Gold Medals, 38 Silvers and 36 Bronze Medals. China won the most Gold Medals with 51, but the Americans won the most medals overall with 110 to China’s 100. The stars of the Games were Michael Phelps with his 8 Swimming Gold Medals for the US and Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who set World Records in both the 100 and 200 meter events.
596 athletes competed for the United States in 27 sports at the 2008 games. The Wikipedia page for the 2012 games does not have an overall figure and it is hard for me to count that high, so I just know there are a lot of fine Americans that have qualified to compete in London. There were some great performances and some that made your heart break during the trials.
For every great story like Ricky Berens finding out on Twitter he would swim in the Games, there is a story like Lamar Odom, who wanted to be on Team USA, but then backed out when he got traded like he wanted.
Who will be the breakout stars for the US in London?
17 of the 18 women from the team that lost a heart-breaking Women’s World Cup Final to Japan last summer will compete for the Women’s Soccer Gold Medal. St. Louisan Becky Sauerbrunn is back in the backfield, Hope Solo is back in goal and the amazing combo of Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach also returns. Syndey Leroux, just 22, will join the team at the London Games. She has 7 goals in 14 caps for the WNT after a strong career with UCLA and 30 goals in 36 appearances for the U-20 team.
The Women’s Gymnastics team is favored to win the Gold. St. Louisan Sarah Finnegan is an alternate on the team. Gabrielle Douglas, the “Flying Squirrel”, was the top gymnast at the trail. Here’s why you should watch her fly in London.
The majority of the table tennis team comes from the India Community Center in California. The ICC Table Tennis program happens to be only seven years old and is housed in a warehouse next to a strip mall. How can you not cheer for these kids in London?
Brittany Borman, a product of Festus High School, will be competing as a member of the Track and Field team. She will be throwing the javelin after an amazing turn of events qualified her.
I know it’s baseball season and some guys will scoff that the only sport this time of year is baseball. Well, here are 50 reasons to watch the London Olympics.
I know there are other Countries in the games that I could be talking about, but today is a day to celebrate the United States of America. Maybe some other time I will write a post mentioning some other Olympians. You can bet I will still enjoy a good ol’ American beer while I do that, though.
Happy 4th America!
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