Since the moment the Opening Ceremony commenced on Friday, I’ve found myself crying. There is something about the heightened emotions of all those athletes that makes me feel as though I should be on edge too. I feel like I’m up for the gold; I’m pushing myself to give more than I’ve got; I’m attempting to break a world record. While in all reality, I’m sitting on my couch with a box of tissues weeping from all the emotion.
Let’s start with my first teary moment. The Opening Ceremony “Isles of Wonder” is well on its way, and the Queen has already pushed James Bond out of the moving aircraft. After she gracefully takes her seat, the Kaos Signing Choir for deaf and hearing children take the stage. These beautiful children prepare to begin England’s National Anthem of “God Save the Queen.” When they start singing, I then see that some of the children are also signing. Some of them are in wheel chairs. Some have downs syndrome. All are having the best moments of their lives. When I see these darling, beautiful children singing and signing their hearts out, my eyes are involuntarily spewing tears all over the place. What sweet, sweet children! What an accomplishment to the Kaos Signing Choir to partake in the opening ceremonies! What a wonderful representation of all types of people and their talents! Cry cry. Sob sob. I’m a blubbering baby when it comes to diversity.
On to the next event!
On Monday, Missy Franklin was standing poolside, getting ready for the 100-meter back stroke, though she competed in the 200-meter free style less than 20 minutes ago. The buzzer sounded and the race began. Everyone knows she won the race in spectacular speed, but is that what made me cry? Well, yes, but it wasn’t just her victory that got me crying. It’s her story:
17 years old and achieving her dreams! Sniffle.
Stayed with the same coach since childhood! Eyes tear up.
From Aurora, Colorado, and would like to dedicate her gold medal to the victims! Tears falling down my face.
Turned down six figures in endorsements so she could continue competitive swim in high school in college simply because she loves the sport! And there go the water works.
This 17-year-old Olympian could be a millionaire with her face on Wheaties boxes, but she swims for the love of the sport! Who knew anyone even did that anymore?! So she acts as the very humble, smiling face of hope for Aurora and dedicates her medal to them. You see her crying and hugging her parents and smiling, and I continue to cry, hug my coffee cup, and guffaw at how ridiculous I must look.
Then we have the men’s gymnast Danell Leyva. Last night he won the bronze medal in the Men’s All Around. What about him made me cry? His step-dad and his blanket! Leyva is a Cuban-American who found himself at the 2012 Olympics with his coach, who happens to be his step-father Yin Alvarez. They have this ritual where Alvarez will kiss Leyva’s head, kind of tug on his ears, and whisper, “Trust your training,” before he goes on the floor. I can just see how much love and trust they have in each other.
Regardless of how well his son does, Alvarez is out there yelling, “YOU are DE BEST! DAT is my BOY AHHH YAHHHH!!” with his very heavy accent. Leyva’s dad-coach is behind him every step of he way. That support, that unquestioning love in times of such pressure has me grabbing tissues and chanting, “Trust your training, Danell! Trust it!!” like a maniac at the television until he’s finished his routine. It is so beautiful to see how deep-rooted their dad-son-coach-athlete (doncathlete?) relationship stands.
Then lastly, my most tear-filled day was when the U.S. women’s gymnastics team earned the gold medal. It all started when Jordyn Wieber’s individual performance did not score her enough points to make the Women’s All Around final. She was the clear favorite for the gold, but a few point deductions and stellar performances from Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas eliminated Wieber from even making the finals.
Normally Wieber is usually very composed, but when when she saw she did not land one of the two spots in the finals and she started crying, oh man did I lose it. Wieber could not stop herself from burying her face in her hands and doing everything possible to stop crying. That made me cry even harder. Jordyn! You’re such an amazing gymnast and you so deserve to compete in in the All Around final! *stifled sob* But you could still win a team gold. Bahhhh booo hooo hoooo! Waaaaahhhhh!
It took me about five minutes to compose myself after Wieber collected herself. I don’t know how she could interview afterward. I, personally, would be in the locker room buried in a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.
But all hope was not lost for Wieber. She could still win an American gold medal in the team event. They had some stiff competition against the Russians, but they were on their A-game. Gabby “The Flying Squirrel” Douglas flew through the air on the uneven bars. Jordyn looked effortless on the vault. And when it came to the last even on the floor, Aly stole the show back with a the kind of performance I couldn’t take my eyes off. When Aly started crying before her routine was even done, that was it. I was done. She pranced off the floor into the arms of her teammates and they were hugging and crying and smiling before the score was even officially announced. I was frantically grabbing for tissues.
The Fab Five stood anxiously waiting for the final point total, and there it was! The result! They did it! THEY DID IT! IT IS OFFICIAL THE AMERICANS WON! THE AMERICAN WOMEN HAVE WON THE GOLD MEDAL IN THE 2012 GYMNASTIC TEAM FINALS! bahhhhahahaaa we did it! We did it!
I was laughing and crying and screaming as much as Jordyn’s mother. My emotions got the best of me, yet again, and I really need to start buying stock in Kleenex. If there were a gold metal for heightened emotions while watching a televised sport, I would certainly bring the gold back home to the US of A.
And if you’re an emotionally-void human and didn’t shed one single tear yet during these games (!!!), this certainly should get you…
If you still didn’t cry, then I guess I’m really guaranteed the gold for 2016.