Monday, August 6, 2012


Have you loved the Olympics?  This may be my favorite year ever.

All five of my kids love watching.  Lily loves the gymnastics and diving (surprise).  Ben is waiting for wrestling and wondering where rugby is (surprise).  Evie just loves snuggling up on somebody's lap while we all cheer for whoever is from the USA.  Brad, who is a former high school 400 meter runner, has been waiting patiently for track and field to start, and he analyzes each runner and their stride and their race.

The biggest surprises have been Micah and Hyrum.  They loved to watch the swimming--they knew Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte (affectionately nicknamed "Lily's husband" around here :) ), Allison Schmitt, and of course their favorite was Michael Phelps.  Every night they would beg to stay up just long enough to watch his race.  Micah would scream and pump his arm--"GO MICHAEL!!!!!  GO USA!!!"  and when he'd win, there would be cheers and jumping and laughing.  Even now that the swimming is over, they watch for Kerry and Misti (beach volleyball) and anyone wearing a USA uniform.

My favorite moments have been women's gymnastics team, Missy Franklin any time she was on, Jessica Ennis's amazing finish during the 800 m portion of the heptathlon,  Britain's Mo Farah and  US's Galen Rupp--training partners and friends--and their surprising gold-silver finish in the 10,000 meters (that was a race--if you missed it, you should look it up on YouTube). 

Admittedly, the best part of the Olympics for me has been watching the growth and maturity displayed by Michael Phelps.  I am so impressed with the man he has become--as humble as one could be in his position, willing to acknowledge the accomplishments of teammates who assisted in his victories, downplaying mistakes--his own and others' (Ryan Lochte's last leg of the relay--remember that one?)--and achievements.  Mostly, though, I've been impressed with his dual desire to go out on top and to give back to the sport that has made him who he is. Those closest to him describe him as rigidly focused and unbelievably kindhearted. It's obvious from his sisters' and mother's attendance at the pool that he is extremely close to his family and loves them. He's made public mistakes that he has owned, but this is a man I want my boys to remember, a man who has worked hard enough to earn the accolades he receives, a man who knows that he would be nothing without his fans and family and wants not only to win, but he wants to make us--the USA--proud.  He's so different from the strutting sprinters and wealthy basketball players.  And we love him all the more because of his goofy, self-deprecating, ultra-dedicated approach to swimming.  He seems to acknowledge that his talent and his work and his medals aren't what really matter.  He knows kids and adults the world over look up to him and he doesn't want to let them down--and that's what matters.  Isn't that what being a role model--a hero--is all about?
22 Olympic medals.

Thank you, Michael, for making the XXX Olympics one my little boys will always remember.  Thank you for bringing my family together night after night for a week, cheering for someone who is worthy to be called the greatest Olympian of all time.

And please take a cue from your idol, Mr. Jordan.  Now that you've said you're finished, don't come back.  We'll be forever grateful.


  1. It's been so exciting! We've enjoyed the cycling events and the diving as well.

  2. Jen, I have also enjoyed the gymnastics and thought of Lily will watching the diving. Unfortunately for us here in Nz, all of the action is happening through the night and we have to wait for replays for most of it. Getting up at 2 or 3 am when the kids have school, etc isn't worth it in our house. For our little country of only 4.4 million we take great pride in every medal won, and are relishing the fact that at the moment we have more gold medals than Australia, our neighbour and closest rival! Enjoy. Cath

  3. We've had fun rooting for Michael, too. And for everyone else. It's been a GREAT Olympics so far.


  4. I agree - it's been an exciting week. And now this week there's track and field to look forward to as well as (my favorite) the equestrian finals. But it was last week's accomplishments by Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps and his relay team as well as his individual efforts, and Gabby Douglas who really made us holler and cheer. Unbelievable!