It’s four days after the Olympics and the whole world is collectively experiencing Olympics withdrawal symptoms. The huge display of determination, passion, drive and that unity that is the Olympics is over. Who doesn’t miss the rush of watching the athletes compete and the ecstatic celebrations when they won? the Kenyan team did not do as well as were expected but the pure adrenaline rush as we cheered from our living rooms was the definition of intensity. Where else do you have entire countries watching their screens, collectively holding their breath until the finish line is crossed? Where else is a misstep the difference between a gold and silver medal? Where else do we see parents, eagerly, tearfully looking on as their children, the best of the best enter a world stage carrying an entire country’s hopes and dreams on their shoulders?
The London Olympics has been phenomenal for its stories on the athletes and their journey’s there. Here are some of our favorite stories.
The 23 year old taught us that the internet can be used to get you to the Olympics. Self-taught off YouTube videos he learned how to throw the javelin. Right before the Olympic trials there had been 100 throws better than his best shot. He made it through in what seemed an impossible chance. At the Olympics, he was smaller than his competitors were, but in a show of determination, grit and hope, he made it to the finals only a few throws away from a medal. He finished 12th and we celebrate him for Keeping the dream. From throwing sticks in primary to the London Olympics in 2012, he is the epitome of giving it your all despite the odds. You can follow him on Twitter here
Yang- Hak Seon
He’s been a gymnast since he was nine, he made it to the London Olympics and won gold. It was only after he won the gold that the story came out. He’d been living in a slum with his family in rural South Korea since his father lost his job at a factory. Supplementing his family’s income with his athlete’s allowances, it has been a long journey for him. With his win, corporate brands have been falling over themselves to right the situation. He’s got an apartment ready for occupancy next year that fulfills his greatest wish, which was building his family a home. Not even his coach knew his situation that gives us even more to wonder at his level of focus and determination to make it through the circumstances.
His shoes were written “Abuela” Spanish for grandmother and he was there on a mission to honor her. At 34, Felix Sanchez was at the London Olympics to win the gold. Four years ago at Beijing, on the morning of his heats he was told the news of his grandmother’s death. He ran but was distraught and was 22ndout of 25 runners. This time he bolted in the beginning and left the others with such a huge gap no one could compete. Once he won he revealed the picture that he had pinned under his bib of the two of them, no one could forget it was for her. His win was Dominican Republic’s pride.
In 1968, his father was part of a relay team that won silver at the Olympics. In 2012, he is one of the most celebrated athletes of the Olympics. He not only retained his title, he broke his own world record in the most spectacular of ways. His race made every single competitor run faster. The times run by the others would have one them a gold medal in past Olympics. As captain of the Kenya team, he represented and carried our flag well. Well Done Rudisha! Well done Team KENYA! Find him on Twitter here
Sounds Kenyan? Well he’s 19 and from Grenada. He gave his country their first ever gold medal. The tiny Caribbean island celebrated his win with half a day off declared by the Prime minister. At 19 we can be sure to see him again in many more Olympics.
Here is someone we didn’t forget. Ezekiel Kemboi the entertaining winner of the men’s 3000 m race celebrated his win in style. Here is the legendary Kemboi Dance.