Here we are, down to the last two full days of the London 2012 Olympics. It has been great watching the world’s best athletes compete in the highest spirit of sportsmanship. I saw a little pushing during some of the races but saw more high-fives and hugs than elbows and fists.
It has been great to see, or know about, women from every country competing this year. It’s the first time women from every country have participated and hopefully not the last time. In my mind this indicates progress for women’s rights around the world. We can only hope that this progress continues after the Olympics.
Oscar Pistorius was another first this year. A para-Olympian competing with able-bodied runners and qualifying into the semi finals. He came in 2nd in his Round 1 heat with a time of 45:44. This time was better than the three guys he beat in his heat, and also faster than 28 other runners who had heats that day. Fifteen other runners did finish faster than he did, thirty-one did not. Four guys did not finish their heats.
In the semi-finals Oscar finished 23 out of 24 runners. Next to last, but a triumph none the less; he accomplished what he set out to do and that was to make it to the semi-finals. You can imagine how his efforts and achievement will Inspire a Generation.
While we always see the fastest, strongest and highest on the podium, the achievements of all Olympians is amazing. Here are a few examples from running:
Women’s Marathon: Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia finished first at 2:23:07, an Olympic Record
Caitriona Jennings of Ireland finished in 107th place at 3:22.11. This is a 7:42 mile pace, which is something most people I run with would be thrilled to achieve.
Women’s 10K: Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia finished first at 30:20.75
Eloise Wellings of Australia finished 21st at 32:25.43 or a 5:13 mile pace.
Men’s 10K: Mo Farah of the UK finished first at 27:30.42
Mykola Labovskyy of Ukraine finished 26th at 29:32.12, or a 4:45 mile pace.
Even the people who finished last in these races put up remarkable times. The reality is that only three people can Medal and only one is Gold. Hopefully everyone else goes home with some great memories and satisfied with the knowledge that on their day, they gave it their all, they did their best and that they will always be Olympians, for the rest of their lives.
Enjoy the rest of The Olympics, and thanks for stopping by.