Monday, 6 August 2012

London Olympics 2012 As Seen On TV

MY WORLD last week included sitting on the sofa and getting swept up in the Olympic magic in London. Enthralled with the drama of all the athletes, I was mesmerized with the Michael Phelps saga as it unfolded live through my television screen on Wednesday. I started taking pictures that are not the best in clarity but still manage to convey the emotions of the moment.

The Phelps story is universal and speaks volumes about how dreams can become reality. Here he is getting ready to jump into the water in a breathless leap of faith with a slightly shaken confidence.

He took a chance competing in this Olympics and not resting on his laurels, especially since he had taken some significant time off after 2008 from a gruelling practice regime. He once said you become a champion by doing what other people don't want to do.

Previously he had practiced seven days a week without missing a beat for an accumulated twenty years. No doubt his heart wasn't in it on a lot of those days but he did it anyway. Now he had to prove himself again and risk failure.

There is also the element of fate where no matter how much practicing you do, some inexplicable thing happens and you stumble and fall in front of the whole world with cameras blazing. Something you have done really well many times before boils down to those few seconds when you win or lose.

The country you represent sits heavily on your shoulders. Yet the wind blows at your back sometimes and you surprise even yourself with unexpected success.

Phelps nearly missed qualifying for the final races of 2012. He squeaked by with a slim margin. But now realizing he achieved his 19th medal when his relay team won the gold, he looked like a dragon slayer in the pool.

After the initial moments boyish relief was written all over his face.

Then there was the joyful coming together of the American team that helped pivot him and them into history.

His mom watched ... ecstatic, proud and also relieved because she probably nudged him when he wasn't so certain about competing in 2012.

It would be impossible not to say a thankful prayer to the universe for allowing it to go so swimmingly well after a rocky start.

This shared victory was not just for one man but a country, although Phelps has more medals than most countries competing at the Olympics.

Historically this 19th medal meant Phelps exceeded the number won by any one person. He subsequently won 3 more bringing the total to 22 for the US from 2004 to 2012. Previously, Ukrainian gymnast Larisa Latynina had the highest number, winning 18 medals from 1956 to 1964 for the Soviet Union.

In the end, it is about talent, luck and a willingness to work extremely hard chasing rainbows to get that pot of gold. The NBC logo (pictured above) reminds me I have NBC and CTV to thank for a chance to view the peaks and valleys of all the Olympic journeys from the comfort of my couch in BC.

To enjoy sights from around the globe, link to Our World at the sidebar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

See scenes from BC at Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride.


  1. Great post. I got swept up in the Michael Phelps story too and watched all his races during this Olympics. I clearly remember him at 15 in his first Olympics and then each one after. What a great career he has had.

  2. Hi Carver, I’m glad you mentioned that Phelps was in the 2000 Olympics at the age of fifteen. It is inspiring to realize that he didn’t win any medals on his first try but that he kept going to greater success in the years that followed.

  3. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  4. Great post for the day, Penelope, and I think that many of us got swept up in the Michael Phelps story! I know I did and what an awesome young man and so very inspiring!! Have a great week!

  5. What a great post about the Olympics. I have been sitting on the couch too all these days already and being happy with the happy and feeling sorry for the ones that didn't win.Michael Phelps is a wonderful sportsman.

  6. I doubt I will ever see another athlete like Phelps in my lifetime. What an inspiration he is to the younger generation. Let's hope others emulate his dedication to sport.

  7. Amazing athlete. So proud of his accomplishments and of the US.

  8. Great post on the Olympic's. Michael Phelps is one of our hometown boys and I am sure all Marylanders are proud of him. Hope you have a great week!

  9. Nice post! I spent some time watching the Olympics too and the grace, athleticism and dedication of the athletes are amazing. They are all winners in my book.

  10. Hello Penelope! I really enjoyed your close-up look at Michael Phelps. You definitely captured, with your photos, the emotion and heart of a spectacular athlete and competitor. The drama and courage that touch every athlete dedicated and talented enough to compete at this level is what draws me to watch the olympics. My heart soars for the those who achieve their goals and falls for those who experience heartbreak. Today, I'm wondering how Simon Whitfield and Alex Despatie will go on, but perhaps the mental strength they have needed to get this far, is what will take them to the next step on their life journey.

  11. I love your patriotic posts!

    Did you know that the comments are turned off on many of your posts? Perhaps you want them turned off, I don't know.

  12. You captured nicely Phelps’ facial expression of “dragon slayer” or “boyish relief”, penelope. Retiring after winning the 19th gold of a glittering career is fantastic. It must have been a long, strenuous road to the final glory. Kitajima was supposed to win three consecutive gold medal but he missed it with a slim margin both in 100m and 200m breaststroke. I can’t forget his shining smiles when his relay team won the silver. I like to see every athlete competing with fighting spirit and sportsmanship regardless of the result. Only one thing I was sad about was “deliberate losing”.

  13. Hi CameraGirl, Thanks for your comment about the patriotic posts. I found the Canadian flag chalk art on a path at the local park and it gave me a good feeling. About the comment option that is sometimes not available: I tend to shut it off when I post just pictures with no commentary of my own. Otherwise, it is on. :)

    And stardust, I agree about the “deliberate losing”. I much prefer deliberate winning! :)

  14. So much to appreciate in these photos and words! We, too, have been watching the Olympics avidly, and always enjoy the human stories behind the athletes' achievements.

    And I always love your B.C. really showcase what a beautiful province we live in. Do have a wonderful weekend...:)


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