Delayed By A Year The Olympics Were Still Magical
The record will show that a late rush helped the United States finish with the most gold medals for a third straight Summer Olympics. A first-ever gold medal by the women’s volleyball team was the 39th of the games for the U.S. which was one more than China. In all American teams and individuals finished with 113 medals, 25 more than China and that marks 7 straight Olympics with the most total medals.
However the real story of these games was the fact they were held in the first place and for the most part with little controversy and not with the massive outbreak of COVID-19 that some had predicted. Sure they lost much of their luster without fans in the stands and the 13 hour time difference made it difficult for us TV viewers but if the games are supposed to be about the athletes than mission accomplished.
I am like many of you in that over the past two weeks I was introduced to athletes I had never heard of and watched sports that will now disappear off our radar for the next three years until France hosts the 2024 games. That is the beauty of the Olympics and why despite incredible obstacles it was important that they were held. How many of you really knew about American swimmer Caleb Dressel, one of the stars of Tokyo or gymnast Suni Lee, who captured the gold in the all-around following the withdrawal of Simone Biles. For all its faults NBC also introduced us to athletes from other countries and you learn to appreciate the sacrifices many have made just to be able to represent their country.
Kudos to Toms River’s Todd Frazier who helped Team USA capture a silver medal in baseball, a sport along with softball that will not be contested in 2024 when we will be introduced to break dancing…seriously. There was also a local connection to the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s water polo team as one of the top players is Maddie Musselman, whose father Jeff is a 1981 graduate of Central Regional High School and spent five seasons as a major league pitcher.
The Tokyo Olympics are over…now I can go back to watching the Mets self-destruct for another few weeks.
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