I recently had the awesome (if extremely short) experience of watching the men’s 100m final of the 2012 Olympics. Living in a residence means that my access to television is limited, so it’s for special occasions that I venture forth from my cave to watch TV, especially sports. So it was with great anticipation I sat down to watch Usain Bolt and 7 other chaps compete for one of the two pinnacles of sporting prowess. Before I go any further let me explain that last bit: any Olympian has the right to be extremely proud of themselves, they are among the best of the best at what they do. Medalists even more so; they are the best of the best. But when it comes to pure human athleticism, nothing is quite like long distance/endurance sports like 10 000m+ running, and nothing is quite like intense speed races, such as the 100m. The sprinters are the fastest people in recorded competitions , while the distance chaps (and chappesses) are the fittest. These are the two peaks of pure human physical prowess. These people are survival of the fittest at its peak (well, not in modern society perhaps but back when we all roamed plains and woods and such these guys and girls would have had multiple mates).
So as I eagerly awaited the beginning of the 100m men’s final (sorry ladies but the world we live in today is still sexist; sorry long distance fans but a race is longer than my attention span) I watched the runners’ routines as they were announced. Most of them come off pretty arrogant; which they are. And to be fair, it’s entertaining, and they have a right to be (within reason). But I have seen Bolt interviewed on Top Gear, and while he was cocky, he wasn’t a supreme kn*b. So I decided I’d back him. When the gun went off everyone around me lept up and started cheering, pulling me along with them in their excitement. Boy, Usain Bolt is quick. I promise he was at the back of the field before 40m in it seemed like he suddenly put in effort. He sprinted past the other guys coming in for an easy first. I would post a link for you to watch it if you missed it but as of now I can not find a good-quality video.
So apart from my favourite event, the Olympics really are amazing. Not even in the soccer world cup is such a unity seen amongst nations (far too much bad blood between players and soccer clubs and stuff). In the Olympics people congratulate each other every single time. Heck, I even saw a South Korean and a North Korean shake hands amicably, knowing they had both laid down their metaphorical rifles to come in peace and participate at the table of human civilisation.
So in conclusion, I recommend you watch a couple of matches (finals are generally the best), even if it’s just sport you enjoy. Heck, I’ve only watched the archery, some swimming, and the guys’ 100m. But I enjoyed them all 🙂