I don’t get misty eyed during the Olympic medal ceremonies. And while it’s fun to watch great athletic performances, I won’t remember all the winners. What will I remember from the London 2012 Games? The moments of sportsmanship. Here are a few moments that stood out to me:
Kirani James of Grenada winning his semi-final heat of the 400 meters and immediately walking over to double-amputee Oscar Pistorius (who came last) and asking if he might exchange name bibs. The 19-year-old James would go on to win the gold medal the next day, but I have to admit his simple act of respect to the inspiring South African runner got me choked up.
Andy Turner of Great Britain and Jackson Quinonez of Spain returning to put their arms around former gold medalist Liu Xiang of China who was trying to hop to the finish line after he fractured a tendon hitting the first hurdle of the 110 meter heat. It was a great moment, made even more poignant by the fact that Quinonez had finished a disappointing fourth in the heat, one spot from advancing, but he and Turner displayed the grace to honor a former champion who was attempting to symbolically finish his last race.
Good friends Mo Farah of Great Britain and Galen Rupp of the United States crossing the finish line in places 1-2 of the men’s 10,000 meters. Rupp in second place was clearly just as thrilled for his Brit training partner and best friend Farah as for his own result, and when Farah turned to see his Yank buddy had come in second he let out a cry of joy and the two hugged and bounced around like little kids. The British crowd roared for minutes after the race while Farah and Rupp, together, circled the track waving their respective countries’ flags.
Please let me know of your favorite moments.
And Think Orange!