Winning gold in spirit

Jimmy Pyles

If you have been living under a rock for the past two weeks and missed the Olympics, you should crawl under that rock and wait another four years to come out.

Sadly, now that the Olympics are over, I have to hang up my American flag cap and put away my red, white and blue face paint until the next Olympics.

Yeah, I got really into the games. I was not just that person that watched the opening and closing ceremonies; I watched it all. I was on the sand at the volleyball court, on the grass next to the track, on the sidelines of the baseball stadium – all in spirit, of course.

Nothing is better than Americans coming together to watch our athletes beat the crap out of the world’s best. That is not to say that we were without our fair share of losses.  However, with our country sporting 104 total medals, including 46 gold medals, I think it is safe to say we kicked ass.

What is great about the Olympics is you do not have to be a sports fan to watch the games because not every event is a “sport.” I use that term loosely when talking about the Olympics, but it is hard to consider rhythmic gymnastics, equestrian competitions (horse riding), and synchronized swimming (along with other events) to be sports.

 

I am not saying that these events are without difficulty because I would not be able to compete in them on any level. I just feel that they are not sports.

It is not like Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin had a dolphin to ride while winning their gold medals in swimming. In comparison, British equestrian Nick Skelton won gold on his horse Big Star. If it were up to me, the horse should get the medal, not Skelton.

There was also some controversy on the track when the South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius was a finalist in the men’s 4x400m relay. Pistorius caught flack because runners said that the blades he uses to run give him an unfair advantage. For the runners who think that, cut your legs off and get some blades to run on. Until then, shut up and let Pistorius run.

Whether or not events are considered sports and regardless of all discrepancies, there is nothing greater to citizens of a nation than seeing a member of their country wearing their nation’s colors.