I’m not at all a sports fan (#surprisesurprise), but, boy, do I love the Olympics! For seventeen glorious days, the Olympic spirit coursed through my veins, my high-definition television, my DVR, and my internet history.
With the Olympic flame now extinguished, I’ve complied a list of my biggest highlights and takeaways from these 2012 London Olympic games. My gold place winners, if you will.
The mildly embarrassing ode to social media from the Opening Ceremonies, sadly, did not make the cut.
Hands down, the single best thing to come out of these Olympics were Michelle Collins’ hysterical daily recaps for Vanity Fair. Girl is a comic genius and I want her to be my best friend. Right now. If I could, I would dip her recaps in gold and wear them proudly around my neck. Even though the Olympics are over, they are definitely worth the read.
The face that launched a thousand memes. American gymnast McKayla Maroney won silver in women’s vault, but on the podium, she was simply not impressed. The Internet mobilized and did what it does best, igniting a hilarious Tumblr firestorm of various images photoshopped with McKayla’s scowling disapproval.
I submitted some of my own images to this Tumblr, including the two pictured here, awaiting approval as of the publishing of this post.
Phillip Phillips’ “Home”
Who would have thought that American Idol winner Phillip Phillips would have also struck gold in these Olympic games?
Thanks to several choice placements in pre-taped women’s gymnastics segments featuring USA’s white-hot Fab Five, Phillip Phillips’ coronation single “Home” skyrocketed to #1 on iTunes and No. 9 on the Billboard charts. Read more about the song’s ascension here.
And who would have thought that I would have a Twitter debate with a complete stranger about Phillip Phillips and American Idol for half an hour after sending out the following tweet?
Mind you, this was only part of our conversation. And somehow the fact that both of us are Filipino was brought into the fold by the other party. Something about Jessica Sanchez and over-singing… Needless to say, the debate ended amicably. Twitter is a strange and wonderful space.
But really, who would have thought all this would happen because of the Olympics? Certainty not me. I would never have guessed that America would still be talking about Phillip Phillips this much, months after his own gold place victory. So cherish your moment like this on the victor’s podium while you still can, Phil Phil.
Men’s 10m Platform Diving Finals
Oh, look! Actual sports! This event was one supremely thrilling nail-biter of a competition.
The men’s 10m platform was sized up as a showdown between China’s current world champion Qiu Bo and Great Britain’s 2009 world champion Tom Daley. No American man had won individual diving medal of any color since 1996, but hope came in the form of USA’s David Boudia, who nearly failed to make the cut, getting the 18th and final spot out of the semifinals.
In the first round of the finals, Daley received a rare re-dive, after camera flashes had distracted him. And going into the very last dive of the competition, Daley, Boudia, and Bo were separated by a mere 15 one-hundredths of a point! Boudia pulled off a stunning final dive, winning gold for USA, while Bo was visibly devastated taking silver.
Watching the unexpected journey of the American underdog-turned-gold medal winner was spectacular. Though I was rooting for Tom Daley, seeing the ecstatic bronze medalist thrown into the pool by his fellow Team GB athletes was an uplifting and raucous celebration. Daley, who has led quite a public life for such a young athlete, did not let his country, or his late father, down.
You read that right: Rhythmic. Gymnastics.
Do yourself a favor and watch Russia’s second rotation gold medal routine. 3 ribbons + 2 hoops = 1 jaw dropped. Why rhythmic gymnastics doesn’t get more appreciation is beyond me. Well, ok, the ridiculous outfits and cheesy music aside.
But seriously, watch the routine. That shit is INSANE.
Now to forget about rhythmic gymcrazytown for the next four years. See you then, Rio!