Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Readathon Wrap Up

One of my favourite shots of the London 2012 Closing Ceremonies
Another Olympic Games has come to an end. Sigh.

I admit that I didn't think I was going to become that obsessed with London 2012. I wrote in my initial Readathon post that I wasn't as into the Summer Games as the Winter Olympics - in part because Canada is much better with winter sports. I apparently proved myself wrong as I was in front of my TV every night as soon as I got home from work until 11pm when the primetime coverage ended on CTV. And when I wasn't watching I was constantly on Twitter or the CTV Olympics site so I could be up to the minute when we won a medal. If I was away from all of that, for some reason, one of my closest friends was even more obsessed than I was so she would always let me know if we won something. So, I shouldn't be surprised that I'm feeling a little lost now that the Games are over.

Overall, Canada did alright. I don't think we quite made our goal but we still did ok. As in Beijing, we got 18 medals. This time our athletes won one gold, five silver, and twelve bronze. We may not be at the top of the medal standings but we're still so proud of our athletes. Bear with me as I chat a bit about them...

This is Rosie MacLennan - our golden girl. She won our sole gold medal of the Games for trampoline. Who knew we had stellar trampolinists? (Is that even what they're called?) Our other Canadian competitor, Karen Cockburn, is a veteran and finished just shy of the podium at fourth.

Speaking of fourth place finishes, we had a few of those, too. There were also quite a few fifth place finishes, including a notable fifth in the men's decathalon. Obviously we've got some awesome athletes, they just couldn't quite make it to the podium.

We had a few heartbreaks as well. There were some questionable reffing calls in the women's soccer match against the US and Canada ended up losing. Happily, they came through and beat France to win the bronze medal but it was still hard to watch the women lose a game that they had put their heart and soul into. A few medal favourites failed to make it to the podium. Simon Whitfield, who was our flag bearer in the opening ceremonies, crashed spectacularly in the men's triathlon. Paula Findlay finished last in the women's triathlon with tears streaming down her face and mouthing "I'm sorry." Man, I'm starting to tear up just thinking about it.

My very favourite reaction to winning a medal?

That's a shot of Mark Oldershaw just after he realized he won bronze in the canoe sprint. He's the fifth Oldershaw to compete in the Olympics and the first to win a medal. Doesn't that just warm your heart a little bit?

I could go on and on and on about our medal winners but I'll spare you any more details :) Let's just say that we are all so incredibly proud of our athletes.

Now. To the point of this post! Random House of Canada came up with the brilliant idea to have a readathon during the Games. We were to set a page goal for ourselves and try to get to it by the end of the Olympics. My goal was 1,300 pages and I met that goal by the 7th. It's a good thing too, since I didn't get any reading done over this past weekend (I was playing tourist and visiting friends in Ottawa!). By the end of the Readathon I had read 1,464 pages. Yay! I wanted to try and break 1,500 but sightseeing won out over reading. I had a lot of fun with this and was glad to have the extra motivation to get as much reading done as possible, since I'm so incredibly busy with reviews right now!

To close, I want to congratulate all the athletes on a fantastic showing at these Summer Games. London 2012 was fantastic and I'm so glad I got to take part in a small way (watching constantly on TV counts as participation, right?). Now I will anxiously await Sochi 2014 - but not the time difference...8 hours! - and Rio 2016.

Happy reading everyone!

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