Nastia Luikin and Shawn Johnson won gold and silver medals, respectively, in women's individual all-around gymnastics" at the Olympics in Beijing. (In case you weren't paying attention.) This is a big deal for US gymnastics and the first time it's ever happened. Yang Yilin of China won bronze.
Am I *that* into gymnastics? Not at all.
We've been tivo-ing stuff and watching bits and bobs of it. I watched Michael Phelps win a few, but then, honestly, got a bit bored. He's awesome, he's going to win. Moving on. It's not like watching Tiger Woods because he occasionally hits bad shots and the fun is to see how he's going to win anyway. Michael Phelps just goes fast from start to finish and kicks everyone's butt. More power to him. We've watched a few other things, women's beach volleyball, some equestrian (with Kurt's mom who LOVES the equestrian events) and if there's badminton on, we'll watch about a minute of it because it's amusing.
So I was watched the women's gymnastics (even though I already knew the outcome, but didn't care) and am always amazed at what these girls can do. It's mind blowing, really. When it came down to the floor exercise, Nastia was second to last, Shawn would go last. Nastia was in gold medal position and Shawn in bronze. Nastia finished well, pretty secure in her gold, hugging her dad (who is her coach and also a gold medal winner in gymnastics -- no pressure!) then Shawn went and she did a great routine to clinch silver. But what got me choked up, surprisingly, was when Shawn finished and ran down to her coach and teammates and had that look of pure joy and relief, she was going to cry happy tears at being done with it and doing a GREAT job. I recognized that look and feeling. Um, no, I don't mean I can relate to an Olympic athlete, but when we ran the Honolulu Marathon in 2001, I started bawling at mile 26 (there is .2 to go from there). I was overwhelmed by the event, the culmination of six months of training, of being in my original hometown, of being with Kurt and our two team mates. We did it! That's the feeling I recognized and it was sweet and surprisingly moving.
Way to go women!
Track and field is getting going this weekend. Can't WAIT for the hammer throw!