The Rio 2016 Olympics have concluded, and with that, the best television watching is over now until the next Olympics.
The athletes spend a lifetime preparing for that moment. All that blood, sweat and tears are condensed into 19 days and some numbers; 42 Olympic sport disciplines, 306 events, with 11 303 competitors from 207 nations. And millions of people watching all over the world.
But most athletes are back at home now or in some cases already at their next competition.
Everyone has their own idea as to what the Olympics are really about.
Is it the greatest showcase of athleticism, or is it an opportunity to bring nations together to compete while putting aside their differences? Is it the ultimate competition and show of patriotism, or is it a celebration of sport and the human spirit?
Personally, I find it hard to see as one or the other. While I can admire patriotism and a competitive edge, I will remember USA’s Abbey D’Agostino helping New Zealand rival Nikki Hamblin cross the finish line after a mid-race collision in the women’s 5000m semifinal.
— Des Moines YMCA (@DesMoinesYMCA) August 26, 2016
I will remember South African Wayde van Niekerk going down on his knees to pray after breaking the world record, in a time where it has become politically incorrect to do so.
Thank you to everyone…
GOD IS POWER pic.twitter.com/hQIRy0ynhN
— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) August 15, 2016
I will remember the German twins Anna and Lisa Hahner holding hands as they crossed the finish line in the woman’s marathon. What a magical moment that must have been for them, despite some outrage in Germany because they supposedly weren’t competitive enough.
I will remember Ayana Almaz running the 10000m women’s race like she was only running against herself and the clock, breaking a 23yr old record after only her second time competing in the women’s 10000m race.
— Almaz Ayana Eba (@Almaz_Ayana) August 13, 2016
And what would the Olympics be without some controversy? There was the usual doping problems, some accusations of fraud, and even cameras falling on spectators. But I have a feeling that the semi-naked wrestling coaches and green ‘fart water’ swimming pools will be the ones that will go down in history.
I love the Olympics, and now that they’re over and the excitement has faded, I have a bit of a feeling of withdrawal. I’m already looking forward to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the mean time, I’ll use the inspiration I’ve gotten from all those fantastic athletes to improve my own workouts.