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Summer Olympics Memories

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Going For Gold In London

The summer Olympics open on July 27th this year in London.  This will be the 11th summer games that I can remember beginning with the 1972 games in Munich.  Oddly, the 1972 and 1976 games are the ones I remember most even though they were so long ago.  It is probably because I watched so much of the coverage. In the later years I was working or had better things (in my opinion) to do. 

My memories of the competition from 1972 were mostly Mark Spitz winning all that gold and Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut winning the hearts of the world.  I also remember the US basket ball team losing to the soviets but only from the commentary as I did not watch the game.  I was and still am not a big basketball fan.  Away from the competition the games were marred by a terrorist hostage situation that led to the deaths of 11 Israeli’s. The games were halted as I recall but eventually continued to conclusion.

In 1976 my memories were of Bruce Jenner, Sugar Ray Leonard and much of the boxing team doing very well.  I also recall Nadia Comaneci with her perfect 10 scores in gymnastics.  After the 1976 Olympics we boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow and the Soviets and eastern bloc countries returned the favor when it was held in 1984 in Los Angeles.  Why was it that I lost interest?  In 1984 (and 1988) Roger Kingdom from my Alma Mater, the University of Pittsburgh, won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles.  I also have vague memories of Carl Lewis who won gold medals from 1984 to 1996.  I also remember Edwin Moses who won gold in 1976 and 1984 and a bronze in 1988 in the 400 meter hurdles at the ripe old age of 33.  Moses won 107 consecutive finals form 1977-1987 that is dominating your sport if I ever hear of it.  My most recent memories that come to mind are the 2008 Beijing games in which Michael Phelps managed to win 8 gold medals(presumably between hits on a bong).

Despite all the controversy and politics that surround the Olympics I will probably make a point to watch a little bit as long as there are no baseball games for me to watch.  Have a great week and get ready for the London games.


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