The Olympics are over T_T I'm happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I really enjoyed the games this time around. I think it's the fact that I was practically in the same time zone, so got to watch a lot of events live. Also, for many athletes, it wasn't their first game and therefore, I was familiar with a lot of them... so it just added a little something. There were so many good moments and good performances. I'm sad because it's over. Although I have to admit that by Sunday, I think I was ready for it to be over LOL.
My sister and I joke at every Olympic games about Canada being best at finishing 4th ^_^; Fourth place is always tough, but I think it's even tougher at the Olympic games because they come every 4 years... and Rio Olympics wasn't an exception. We probably had close to 10 4th place finish... and every one of them were heart-breaking. Especially the last night of athletics where we got 3 and all of them were personal/season best performances. Perhaps we care too much about medals? What really matters is the athletes doing the best they could and being happy with their own performances...
Some of my highlights:
1. Ryan Cochrane and Hilary Caldwell
This is somewhat bittersweet. For the past 8 years, Ryan Cochrane has been the pillar of Team Canada's swimming team. He's been the one to make it on the podium consistently at all the important events. He got bronze in Beijing and silver in London. This Olympics, he really wanted to make it on the podium in honor of his coach who passed away last year... but alas, it didn't happen. It's most probably his last Olympics and I'm so sad :( Hilary Caldwell had the same coach as Ryan and the same goal. She emerged in 2013 and has been quite consistent ever since. It was just really beautiful to see the two of them swim in memory of their coach.
2. Evan Dunfee
It sounds weird, but one of the most interesting event I got to watch this Olympics was the men's 50km walk. 50km walk!! And do you know how fast they walked that?! About 3h40m!! Crazy! LOL. The walk event actually caught my attention at last year's world championship, so I knew to look out for it at the Olympics. Anyway, Evan Dunfee... Wow. Evan came in 4th which is impressive in itself, but what amazed me even more was the man itself: his sportsmanship and his integrity. Halfway through the walk, everyone thought the Olympic champion was already determined and the rest of the field would be fighting for silver and bronze as world record holder, the Frenchman Yohann Diniz had taken over a 1.5 minute lead. However, he started having cramps and other issues and had to stop. When Evan who was leading the chase group took over, he actually pat Yohann on the back and encouraged him to continue. That was already an amazing gesture... but there's more. Two kilometers before the finish line, Evan was fighting for the bronze with Japanese walk racer Hirooki Arai. Evan passed Arai, but the Japanese came back. When he did, he bumped into Evan... disrupting Evan's rhythm. Don't know if you've ever seen it, but these walkers walk funny LOL. And when they've been doing it for more than 4 hours, they're into this rhythm... and once disrupted, it's really hard to get back into it. So Hirooki got bronze and Evan 4th place. However, the race officials decided to disqualify Hirooki for the bump... giving Evan the bronze. The Japanese athletics committee protested and Hirooki was re-instated and got back his bronze medal and Evan was bumped down. It was Evan's decision whether to lodge a protest or not and he decided against. After reviewing the tape, he thought the officials' decision was fair - that Hirooki didn't mean the bump... and also, he was happy and proud of his race and didn't want a medal that way. Seriously, how many athletes would have acted the way Evan did? and for that, he's earned my respect. I'll forever support him LOL. And look at him and Hirooki at the closing ceremony!!
3. Catharine Pendrel
In London, Catharine Pendrel was the favorite to win, but came in 9th. I don't know what was the expectations for Rio, but race didn't start well because she was involved in a crash. At one point, she was 15th and had to come back from behind to win bronze... She displayed such grit and determination and was simply awesome. Just too unfortunate that her fellow Canadian, Emily Batty, was 4th...
There were tons of other moments that were great for me and not just from team Canada... but it'd be too long to list them all :) Lots of high emotions and good performances. I'm already looking forward to Tokyo 2020!!