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London 2012 Olympics

Posted on: August 25, 2012

Okay so I’m waaaay behind the 8-ball here, but I just wanted to say my bit about the Olympics, which obviously finished quite a while ago. The Paralympics are still on but you wouldn’t know that from the amount of news coverage it gets… but anyhoo that’s another topic altogether.

I really love watching the Olympics. There’s something very inspiring about seeing people compete for their country at the very highest level. When we were young, my sister and I used to pretend to be Olympic Gymnasts, judging each other for our hand stands and cartwheels and then awarding each other gold and silver medals. I always won because I was a mean older sister and always gave Kate a lower score than what she gave me. Aww.

But she’s the one winning all the gold medals these days, and they’re not even imaginary.

So, yes, Olympics. I love it. Some of my favourite moments from this year’s London Games were:

The Rowing.

</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>		<h5>Olympics Day 8 - Rowing</h5><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>							<p>Kim Crow of Australia competes in the Women's Single Sculls Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 4, 2012 in Windsor, England.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>						&copy; Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In particular, Kim Crow (image from here).

Kim Crow (image from here) won bronze in the single scull and silver in a double scull with Brooke Pratley. Kim is the first Australian woman to contest both events in an Olympic Games and she did so brilliantly.

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<p>		<h5>Olympics Day 5 - Rowing</h5><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>							<p> Silver medallists Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey of Australia celebrate with their medals after competing in the Women's Pair Final A on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 1, 2012 in Windsor, England.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>						&copy; Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey (image from here).

Sarah Tait and Kate Hornsey (image from here). They won silver in the women’s pair. I found Sarah Tait’s story particularly inspiring because she is one of the first mothers ever to row at the Olympics for Australia. During the Games coverage, I saw an interview with Sarah, who said she did her research before making the decision to return to elite rowing after having her first child: other countries had a strong history of mothers competing and she was able to use this information to help gain Rowing Australia’s support. Good on her! The Australian rowing team for the London 2012 Games also included mothers Dana Falatic and Hannah Every-Hall. Awesome.

Oscar Pistorius (image from here).

Oscar is a South African competitor in the 400m. He is also a double-amputee, the first to compete in an Olympic Games.

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Damien Hooper. Image from here.

Okay so I don’t watch boxing. I don’t enjoy watching people beat the crap out of each other. But I do acknowledge that it’s a sport that requires strength, fitness, agility and skill.

Boxing aside, I have to say I really admire Damien Hooper for proudly wearing his people’s flag as he walked out to the ring. Why shouldn’t he? I thought the discussions surrounding the event were quite interesting. On the one hand, the shirt was not the official Australian uniform, even though the Aboriginal flag is an official flag of Australia. Then there was the argument that the Olympics are supposed to be free from politics. I don’t know whether Damien was intentionally making a political statement by wearing the shirt but the fact remains that the official uniform does nothing to acknowledge or represent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander competitors at the Olympics, just as our current flag does nothing to acknowledge or represent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Will we ever get it together and change the flag?

I had other favourite moments watching the diving (so sad for Matthew Mitcham who narrowly missed the final), gymnastics, equestrian, swimming, triathlon, sprinting, pole vault, hurdles and cycling. The Olympics makes me a bit of an all-rounder. I like it all. Except the boxing.

But now it’s all over (bar the Paralympics). The next Games are in Rio and my sister is hoping to be there. So am I. As part of her entourage, of course, not competing (although that would be fun…!). I really hope the media actually shows some of the Paralympics in 2016. If they do, I will be waving from the stands, cheering Kate on.

If she gets there I promise I will award her full points.

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