Opening ceremonies at the London Olympics are almost upon us. I'm a big sports fan but admit that I don't look for the latest news in water polo, equestrian or pentathlon when I open the sports pages of the newspaper each day.
Watching and rooting for Team USA becomes the country’s obsession whenever the Olympics roll around. The media assures that. I follow most events during the Olympic Games, because the possibility of some historic sports achievement may occur at any time during each of the 302 medal events—and that’s what makes the Games exciting. Arguably the greatest moment in U.S. sports history was the Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Winter Games when the U.S. ice hockey team beat the heavily favored Soviets and went on to win the gold medal. And how about Michael Phelps performance at Beijing in 2008? Jesse Owens in 1936? Or the Jamaican Bobsled Team finishing ahead of the U.S. in 1992.
That’s what is so great about Olympic competition. Each contestant, regardless of country or politics goes all out—110%. These athletes sacrifice so much of their time to make it to the Olympics just for the opportunity to compete against the world’s best. Most of these sports heroes will never have a professional contract or an endorsement deal with Nike. These days some sports, like basketball, do include pros but it’s the athletes in the most obscure of the twenty-six sports that make me appreciate the hard work and focus that these people demonstrate. It is a thrill to watch them.
In London, Maryland will be more than well represented with athletes in swimming, basketball, pentathlon, sailing, soccer, and track and field.
To get ramped up for July 27, I went and took a look at the documents for Washington/Baltimore's bid to host the 2012 Olympics. Didn't remember that Baltimore was involved in the possibility of getting the Olympics here? Guess that's because we weren't selected as even one of the six finalists (New York City was the only U.S. City to make that cut).
After Washington/Baltimore's proposal was eliminated the Washington/Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition gave the Maryland Department a copy of the four-volume proposal. To think the planners would have held table tennis at the Baltimore Conventions Center, fencing and volleyball at the Naval Academy or triathlon at the Inner Harbor! And the games would have begun July 20 in our area. Next time you're in the Central Library why not stop by the Maryland Department to take a look at the proposal? We'll be happy to show it to you.