Shannon is a 16 year old from Maryland. She enjoys writing, is pro recycling, and loves the Jonas Brothers.
THE OLYMPICS! I lovelovelove the Olympic games. They are one of my all-time favorite things. I’ve been unable to tear myself away from the television all week. It only comes around once every four years and summer games are the best. Gymnastics, swimming, table tennis—it’s fantastic! It’s all about unity, bringing people together to witness some of the greatest athletes to ever walk to the earth battle one another for Olympic medals. So, in the spirit of the games, I thought I’d give you a highlight reel of all my favorite things to happen so far.
I’ve been a Phelps fan since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, so I was super stoked to see him compete again this year. Ahh, Michael Phelps. The amazing twenty four year old who’s completed his quest to win eight gold medals and break Mark Spitz’s record of most gold medals in one Olympics. Watching him tear through the water like a fish, constantly remaining in front, race after race, medal after medal; it’s magnificent. His face at the final ceremony as he received his eighth medal said it all. The national anthem played, his eyes teared up, and the candid smile on his face emitted an undeniable glow of happiness. It was in that moment that the world recognized that he’d made Olympic history.
Gymnastics. Another one of my favorite competitions. The American female gymnasts have been incredible to watch. It’s so dangerous and yet, the approach it with such calm demeanor. If I had to run top speed towards a stationary object or do flips on a beam, I’d be shaking in my boots. Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson both had phenomenal performances.
The moves those girls can make their bodies, while airborne, is absolutely mind blowing. Nastia is so slim and limber that she looks like a ballerina, graceful in all her routines and, one movement slipping seamlessly into the next. Petite and smiley Shawn is small but fierce and continuously brought her A game every time she came out onto the mat. The two finished first and second, respectively, in the women’s all around, and rightfully so.
One of the biggest gymnastic-related issues is the age controversy involved the Chinese gymnast, He Kexin. I myself am still on the fence. Even though she claims to be the required age of sixteen, to me she doesn’t look a day over twelve. Thirteen maybe, but sixteen? It just doesn’t seem possible.
I am actually astonished at how many young people are participating in the games this year. Many of the athletes are still teens! Can you imagine coming back to school and saying, “What did I do this summer? Went to Beijing and competed in the Olympics. I won a couple of medals. It was so much fun!”
I just wanted to quickly mention the ungrateful Swedish wrestler who threw a temper tantrum during the medal ceremony. I just could not believe it when I heard it. I can understand he was upset over the penalty call that did not turn out in his favor, but to disrupt the entire ceremony and dump the medal on the floor like it was meaningless is just disgraceful. It was childish and inexcusable. I think the IOC was correct in their choice to remove his medal and eject him from the game.