Well, the Olympics are almost over. Already.
The one thought that I’ve been unable to shake since the Olympics began is just how much of the Olympic experience was robbed of the athletes. They finish their event and are on the next flight home.
I get it. I do. They are trying to keep everyone safe and not have people there who no longer need to be there. It is a smart operational plan.
But I think ahead to the Closing Ceremony and how many athletes won’t be there. The ones with medals won’t have that memory of walking into the stadium with a medal around their neck.
For Canada, these games have been all about the women. Canadian women won the first 13 medals (we currently have 14). Those women won’t be there. They’ve gone home.
Penny Oleksiak, the most decorated Olympian in Canadian history, won’t be there. She would’ve been a strong candidate for flag bearer, though she’s probably the early favourite for that role at the Opening Ceremony in 2024.
I feel for the athletes who got in and got out, without experiencing much else.
To see some Olympians feel the need to apologize for not winning a medal – you don’t have to apologize to anyone. In the hardest year of our lives, you competed at the Olympics. There is nothing to be sorry about.
Here are some of my thoughts on various topics:
As you probably know by now, American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the Team Final, as well all individual event finals, except the balance beam. It has just been announced that she will compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday.
Biles chose to prioritize her mental health.
She did the right thing.
Biles has mentioned on social media that she is dealing with “the twisties”. It’s when you feel like you can’t control your own body while spinning and flipping through the air, which means you don’t know when, or where, you’re going to land. I don’t know about you, but that sounds absolutely terrifying.
Gymnastics is already a dangerous sport when the gymnasts have control of their bodies. The twisties are a new level of horror.
If you’re familiar with “the yips” in baseball or golf, that’s what “the twisties” have been compared to. It’s the same sudden inability to do a skill you once could.
There are those who have called Biles a quitter. Those people would be certified losers who are stupid idiots. You can quote me on that.
To do anything but support Biles and her decision, is ridiculous.
Canadian Women’s Softball Team
Canada won its first-ever Olympic medal in Softball, earning bronze in a win over Mexico.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Softball/Baseball hadn’t been at the Olympics since 2008, but returned this year. In 2008, Canada lost in the semi-final and missed out on a medal.
Thirteen years later, four members of that team came back to win bronze in Tokyo including, Pitcher Danielle Lawrie, who came on to close out the game.
It was such a good story and the team was so easy to cheer for. Unfortunately, we have to wait until 2028 for Softball/Baseball to, potentially, rejoin the Olympic lineup.
I think it’s cool that the Olympics is starting to add events that include men and women. There are relays in swimming and athletics, with two men and two women competing. It creates a new level of drama.
If a man is running one leg of the relay against a woman, the man takes quite a big lead. And then that changes when they pass the baton. The race is like a yo-yo and you’re never quite sure who is going to win.
There was also a mixed triathlon. I get tired just thinking about triathlon. Kudos to the triathletes who train for that event.
Andre De Grasse
This was the first Summer Olympics since 2004 that the Men’s 100-metre race wasn’t going to be won by Usain Bolt. It was a wide open contest. For those of you who don’t know, Andre De Grasse is a Canadian sprinter who has a medal in every Olympic event he’s ever competed in.
Many thought he might win Gold in the 100-metre, but he won Bronze, just like he did in 2016. It was an incredibly fast race. He set a personal record. Third place is a great outcome and he has two more chances for a medal.
I tried to do a better job at following the Diamond League this year. The Diamond League is a series of track and field competitions that take place around the world.
One sprinter that always stood out to me was, Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Ivory Coast. The women’s 100m was always stacked and Ta Lou always seemed like the underdog, even though she really wasn’t.
It’s hard to explain, but I became a fan.
She came in 4th in the 100m in Tokyo, as the three Jamaican runners swept the podium. She is still competing in the 200m (and maybe the 4×100 relay?).
Caeleb Dressel is an American swimmer who won five gold medals. Every time I turned around, he was back in the pool for another event.
Oh, he just finished his race 20 minutes ago? No problem. Dive back in for another one.
His schedule was basically: win gold medal, shake water out of ears, win gold medal, shake water out of ears, win gold medal.
- I’m looking forward to the Track Cycling events. There’s just something about a velodrome that gets me excited.
- The Canadian Diving Coaches seem like the nicest, most supportive group of people.
- The Canadian Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams finished 8th and 9th, respectively, which was disappointing.
- The women’s rugby team got mocked/taunted on Twitter by a former men’s player who was also a coach for Rugby Canada. He has since been dismissed. Feel free to look up the story.
- Marnie McBean is Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Olympics and has done a phenomenal job in her role. Without family or friends being able to cheer from the crowd, McBean has helped fill that role with her energy, drum, and Canadian flags.
What events have you been watching? What athletes have stood out to you?