The 2012 Olympic Games from London provided us with many moments to remember. In this post I will take a look at ten moments that USA athletes provided us with. Don’t worry though, I will also take a look back at the memorable international moments very soon. These are not in any particular order so here we go.
The Dynamic Duo does it again
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings won the gold in Beach Volleyball for the 3rd straight Olympics. They have won 21 matches in a row. They have lost just 1 set they have ever played in the Summer Games. They defeated Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in an All-American final, and will go into retirement as Beach Volleyball legends.
Redeem Team is no one-hit wonder
There was a lot of silly talk about this team being able to hang with the original Dream Team thanks to Kobe Bryant, but this team should have been and was focused on one thing: winning back to back gold for the USA. This team led by LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant played well throughout the games despite a lack of big men. It was a huge deal for these guys to restore the USAs dominance over the world in Mens hoops.
Gabby Douglas became America’s Sweetheart
As posted here, on NCB, Gabby Douglas won gold in the All-Around Women’s Gymnastics final. She was the first African-American woman to ever win gold in that event. Gabby had a disappointment by finishing last in the uneven bars individual final, but by then she already had her signature moment. With her personality and that gold medal, plus the gold she won in the team event, we will be seeing Gabby for a long time.
The world is introduced to Missy Franklin
When Missy Franklin returns to Regis Jesuit High School, she will have a lot to talk about when people start talking about what they did over the summer. She won 5 medals in the 2012 games(4 gold, 1 bronze) and was one of the breakout stars of the London Games. It sounds like she won’t be cashing in on it though, she reportedly wants to swim in college and to that she can’t take any endorsements, and actually swims for her high school. Can you imagine seeing a 5-time Olympic medalist a couple lanes down in your high school swim meet?!
Team USA Women’s Soccer brings home gold
The moment that Alex Morgan netted a header that won the semi-final match-up with rival Canada, you had a feeling this could be the USA’s year for gold. They went on to beat Japan 2-1, avenging a loss to the same team a year ago in the World Cup. This team will have a similar effect on young girls playing soccer the same way some of them were influenced by Brandy Chastain and the group that won the World Cup in 1999. Bonus fact: the gold medal game was the highest rated event in NBC Sports history.
A community rallies behind its Golden Girl
Claressa Shields story is the type of stuff they make movies about. She is from Flint, MI which has been hit hard by the economic downturn. When the 17 year old Shields, would box during the Olympics, they held viewing parties at bars to cheer her on. They even had fundraisers to help pay for costs that come along with being an aspiring Olympic athlete. So when she won the gold, the only American to win gold in boxing, the town greeted her with a marching band. She will go down in history as the first ever female gold medalist and that’s something the people of Flint will never forget.
Allyson Felix completes her run for gold
Allyson Felix had a devastating silver medal finish in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 200m. She vowed to come back stronger and was focused on winning gold. After a 5th place finish in a loaded 100m, I wondered if she would recover. I can say that I was crazy. She won the 200m, edging out defending champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price. Then she was part of world record setting, gold medal 4×100 relay team. To cap off her London games, she was also part of the gold medal 4×400 relay team. That is how you make a comeback.
We have a new Fab 5
Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross won gold in the Women’s Team event for the first time since 1996 for the USA. You really cant understate just how good this team really is. That was made clear by the fact that Jordyn Wieber did not qualify for the Individual All-Around event (that Gabby Douglas won) because two of her teammates finished first and second, and the rules state that only 2 women per team can compete in that event. These ladies are everywhere right now from Leno to the New York Stock Exchange. Enjoy it, you earned it.
Michael Phelps makes history
Michael Phelps knows how to go out in style. In his last Olympic games, he won 6 medals, 4 gold and 2 silver. He became the all-time leader in medals with 22. Phelps is without question in the discussion for greatest Olympian ever. He was so great again, that he completely overshadowed Ryan Lochte’s 5 medals in the 2012 games. It may be a long time before we see greatness like this again.
There’s my list folks. Let me know what moments stood out to you in the comments. Who is ready for Rio?!