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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gold, Blades and Lightning Bolts.

The once every four year sporting extravaganza known as the Olympic Games is over. The dust has settled on the track, the waters are calm,  and London's Olympic village is a ghost town. Athletes from across the globe have returned home, apart from the odd asylum seeker, and the many who live in the host nation of what was yet another in a pantheon of breathtaking spectacles. Now it is over, and the weird pariahs who hate sport rejoice while the many like me, who love it, lament its passing and eagerly await the next installment in Rio, here are my highlights and lowlights.

1. Pumped for Australian Golden girls, Sally Pearson (110m hurdle) and Anna Meares (sprint cycling). Truly great performances against high quality opponents, under a weight of great expectations.
2. In awe of the fastest man on Earth, Usain Bolt doesn't run, he flies. What an athlete!
3. Blown away by Oscar Pistorius competing as a runner at the Olympics without legs. Nicknamed Blade Runner, his story is surely one of the most inspirational triumphs of all time. Watching him run left me speechless.

1. Truly bummed by the anticlimactic performance of Australian pole vaulter, Steve Hooker. Gold medallist in Beijing, he qualified for the final in London with just one successful jump, then produced three bombs in the final including two attempts where he didn't even get off the ground.
2. Disgusted by Cameron van der Burgh admitting to cheating in the 100m breast stroke final. His justification, "everyone else is doing it." Not everyone mate. Australian Christian Sprenger, who won silver, didn't cheat.
3. Disappointed by Channel Nine's television coverage of the Games. Not only was it highly repetitive and generally poorly commentated but the same content was repeated on both their channels. I would rather have seen much less of the commentary hosts in fancy sets, and much more of the action.

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