It’s finally over. What a magnificent closing ceremony… left me speechless. The grand (for want of a better adjective) stadium, the fireworks, the streamers, the 70,000+ audience, the musicians, the shimmering stage, the Greek pop stars…fantastic.
Inspite of some complete boors dismissing the Games as *just another series; what Athens?*, I can’t help thinking: the Olympics are something else altogether… Oh, you need to watch them regularly to know what I’m talking about. This year was full of *moments*.
Each nation seems to have a distinct way of rejoicing. Few Chinese exult the way Americans do. Their joy seems to have a dignity to it, a different poise. Just an observation…NO GENERALISATION! Maaf karo…
It’s touching to see how experienced and apparently *unemotional-looking* athletes break down completely on hearing their country’s national anthem. It’s also inspiring to see contestants from little-known and even *littler-sized* countries come forth to claim their piece of metal. [Sorry, the *metal* reference has been flicked from one of my favourite Olympic quotes which I can’t, for the life of me, recall!]. Tell me, is pole-vaulting/shooting a much-watched sport in Europe? Or any country in the world, for that matter? Yet these guys/gals compete with full enthusiasm and energy… It must be frustrating to spend the better years of your life playing a sport which isn’t the most favourite one in the nation.
Some amazing moments included watching Hisham El Gharrouj, from Morocco, explode with joy on winning 2 golds in the medium distance running events. Fana Halkia, the Greek runner, put such a CONSIDERABLE gap between herself and her nearest competitor while winning the 4×400 women’s hurdles. She seemed to be carried along the track by the passion of the crowd. Man, it was one helluva feeling…The elegance of the Chinese divers, the skill of the Romanian gymnasts, the sheer zest of the American swimmers… oh, these Games are something else.