If you are looking for some final thoughts on the 2012 London Olympics and are a big fan, you may want to turn away now before the rosy red glow of happiness about the games, turns into a beet red glow of anger.
Canadians can spin our country’s performance any way it wants but it was poor. It was so poor that the media had to seize whatever opportunities they could and beat them to death as they did the women’s soccer team. A bronze medal in a sport that has a reduced field to begin with is a fine accomplishment and it was deserved but it’s far from a Top 4 finish at a World Cup for example.
It’s the story that captured the imagination. Canada almost beat a United States team it hasn’t beaten in years running into some unfortunate refereeing on its way to a loss.
What should really be celebrated is the fact a Canadian soccer team finally responded positively to a pressure situation.
As a soccer fan, it was wonderful to see the sport finally get some attention from people other than those who love the sport. We will see whether the momentum remains until the 2015 World Cup being held in Canada.
The Olympics aren’t about National Basketball Association players coming in and dominating the sport. They aren’t about Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Andy Murray coming in and dominating the sport.
The Olympics are more about events such as team handball, wrestling, judo, archery, shooting, running swimming, gymnastics events that many countries never see and that never get the kind of international publicity of other events. That’s the beauty of watching Olympic events.
There is a greater value in a gold medal won by a modern pentathlete or dccathlete, rower or team handball player than there is in a gold medal won by a team with LeBron James, Bryant and the handful of other NBA stars.
Perhaps the Olympics should consider going to an age-rule for basketball and tennis as they do for soccer. You have to be under a certain age to be eligible.
It took more effort for the American professionals to work up some emotion at the win than it did to actually win.