So maybe Action is rubbing off on me (and I suppose it's about time as I have known the dude for nearly 26 years and we share DNA), but I can't stop watching the Olympics. I am running on minimal sleep as I sit up up until 4AM every night, eating snacks and come into work wiped out like I just ran the half marathon. But once every 4 years? Count me in.
So last night, the USA gymnasts and I enjoyed some fierce competition, vegetarian buffalo wings, and half a bottle of wine. You can guess who had what. It was such an insane spectacle and we here at LLR have nothing but love for the strong women who bring it, that I wanted to take a moment out to give a little love to these incredible female athletes.
Gymnastics All Around...USA silver and gold. Wow. Maybe this isn't so impressive to someone who follows the sport consistently, but as I generally only see it during Olympic time and super bored Sunday mornings, I am a bit out of the loop. I remember as a kid constantly hearing about Mary Lou Retton and what a big deal it was. And it was a big deal not only because she scored that elusive perfect 10, but because she was the first female outside of Eastern Europe to win the all-around title. Meaning up until 1984, when Women's gymnastics had been an Olympic event for nearly 60 years, the US wasn't regarded at all as a gymnastics powerhouse.
But oh, how the tides have turned. And suddenly we are a force to be reckoned with. In back to back Olympics, the USA ladies have taken home the gold and in back to back Olympics, I have sobbed like a little girl during the medal ceremony.
Nastia Liukin... what a fierce bad ass. She came into the games as an underdog and gave her all, under pressure that few of us will ever even come close to understanding. Just to sit there and watch her close her eyes and focus with the mayhem going on around her was one of the more awe-inspiring things I have seen in a long time.
I mean, here's a girl who has been plagued by injury and has spent the last year in the shadow of American Shawn Johnson, who everyone expected to take home the gold. No one was even looking at Nastia until halfway through the finals, but the girl fought hard. And now she is the best gymnast in the world and only the third American to ever receive such honors. Your country is proud of you, Nastia, and so is the team at LLR.
And not to leave little Shawn Johnson out.. the silver medal is a stunning achievement and the way you held it together at the end shows a grace and class far beyond your years. Shawn was quoted as saying, "A month ago, I would have said I was done. But after being here, I would give anything to feel this way again." We look forward to seeing you with an even brighter medal four years from now, Shawn.