So, after all my whining and complaining about my not-so-favourite Olympic moments, here are my final (happy) thoughts:
Michael Phelps rocks.
But you already knew that.
Dathan Ritzenhein, Ryan Hall and Brian Sell rock.
Okay, so they took 9th & 10th (and 20 somethingth), and didn't bring home any medals. Who cares? They are still marathoning heroes. Plus, in 2012 the Games are in London. And you know what that means? They have four chances to run the London Marathon between now and then. Plus, let us consider Ryan Hall's marathon history, shall we?: #1. London Marathon. #2. U.S. Olympic Trials. #3. London Marathon. #4. Olympic Marathon. Yeah, I like his chances.
Paula Radcliffe rocks.
But I think I already covered that. All I have to say is, anyone who will continue running and competing-- and winning-- until 6 weeks (I think) before giving birth doesn't need a gold medal to prove she is a world-class athlete. And she has inspired me to think I can do it, too, when the time comes. You're not done yet, Paula-- in London you will be the same age as this year's gold medalist.
Dara Torres rocks.
Speaking of inspiration... Seriously. She's 11 years older than me, and the new face of middle-aged (although just barely) Americans. Talk about the normal barriers not getting in your way.
Oksana Chusovitina rocks.
Speaking of people who compete beyond the "normal" retirement age... this woman won a silver medal. In gymnastics. At age 33. If you haven't heard of her yet, look her up.
Usain Bolt really, really rocks.
What must it be like to train with this guy? How low will he eventually bring the 100m world record?
I could probably go on for a long, long time. But I won't, out of consideration for my faithful reader. Readers. Whichever. Alas, the Olympics are over, and I am having withdrawl... but this, too, shall pass. And if Usain Bolt is pushing it, it will pass really, really quickly.