The last 16 days went by way too fast

Published 9:08am Monday, August 13, 2012

Column:  Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic

I can’t believe we have to wait four more years to watch hours and hours of handball, fencing, table tennis and other sports we only see at the summer games. Sixteen days seemed to go by so fast. No more flipping from soccer to swimming to gymnastics and watching Olympic action live in the morning, and then the replay at night. What’s great about the games is that it decides the world champs in each respective sport.

Aaron Worm

I guess it’s OK to use that phrase when describing the champions in major league baseball and pro football, since neither game is played in Olympic action, but for basketball and ice-hockey, the true world champs are decided every four years. I don’t know how LeBron James or Kobe Bryant feel, but I would think winning a gold medal representing their country would trump winning an NBA title.

I will probably go through a couple weeks of withdrawal and continue to hum the Olympic theme song on a daily basis for a long time, but what an amazing 16 days.

Team USA led the medal haul with 104 total medals, 46 of them being gold. We all know who Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin and Ashton Eaton are, names most of us had never heard of before the games began.

Every time I saw the American flag, heard our anthem or saw fans’ face painted in the red, white and blue, I was so proud to be an American.

Even if team USA would have won half the medals they did, we should all be proud of the way they represented our country.

Now unless I missed something, besides a Twitter fight between Hope Solo and Brandi Chastain, I believe our athletes all behaved.

No one was sent home like swimmer Fanny LeCluyse of Belgium who had too much to drink, St. Kitts sprinter Tameka Williams for taking a stimulant called Blast Off Red or Greece triple jumper Voula Papachristou and Switzerland football player Michel Morganella for inappropriate comments on Twitter.

However, Team USA judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was disqualified from the games for failing a drug test last week.

The Associated Press said Delpopolo unintentionally ate something baked with marijuana before the games. Everyone makes mistakes, but Olympic athletes have to remember they are representing their entire country. (At least nothing happened like back in 1998 when some members of the Team USA hockey team trashed their rooms at the Nagano, Japan, games, after being eliminated. That was simply embarrassing.)

There seems to be many tweaks to the game we call soccer at the Olympics. Field hockey: just add sticks and a smaller ball, handball: instead of kicking ball use hands, and water polo: use hands to control ball while swimming. I am not sure why it’s called polo, because horses can’t swim (bad joke), but it definitely turned into my favorite sport of the games. It’s hard enough to tread water for a long time, but the game is very physical. I watched every moment of the USA women’s team capturing their first ever gold in water polo.

February of 2014 is the next time the games take place, but this time the winter ones will be in Sochi, Russia. With a nine-hour time difference, I will have to start scheduling time off of work right now so I can watch hours of curling live. (Still the one Olympic sport I really don’t get).

 

KATE Radio Sports Director Aaron Worm’s column appears every Monday in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.