Mormon Times posted a list of LDS athletes who are headed to the Summer Olympics. An impressive group — I hope they all make their respective teams and countries proud in coming weeks.
So what are some of the Olympic moments that you remember seeing or attending? I’m sure there are some true sports fans out there who have dozens of memories, but here are two of mine.
- Keri Strug’s final vault at the 1996 Games. It was the gutsiest performance I ever saw. The US Women’s gymnastics team was on the verge of their first-ever all-around gold, but in their final event the gymnast preceding Strug had two poor vaults. Strug, the last American competitor, landed very poorly on her first attempt, visibly injuring an ankle in the process. Nevertheless, she limped back to the runway, took her second vault, and nailed it for a 9.712. She landed it on one foot, saluted the judges, hopped around to salute the crowd, then collapsed. Incredible.
- Sting and Yo-Yo Ma on the ice at the 2002 Games. We were all holding our breath that the 2002 Games in Utah wouldn’t become some sort of Mormon fiasco — especially given the early financial scandal that threatened to tarnish the whole event. But Mitt Romney stepped up to the plate, fixed the mess, and the Games were a success and a proud moment for Utah. When I saw Sting and Ma performing at the opening ceremonies was when I knew it wouldn’t be a screw-up.
Despite the hype and the politics, there is still nothing on earth to match the Olympics and nothing as memorable as a true Olympic moment. Godspeed to all the athletes making their way to Beijing. Swifter, higher, stronger.