(one of my) Favorite Olympic Moment(s)

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August 13, 2012 by Courtney

Now that the Olympics are over, its hard to sum it all up. I mean how do you just write one post on the entire Olympics?

  • First we have Michael Phelps becoming the greatest Olympian of all time by receiving 22 medals.
  • Then we have the Fab 5, who came home with a few Golds and how can you not love Gabby Douglas (stop giving her a hard time about her hair people, can you do what she can do? Didn’t think so), Makayla Maroney (the judges and I are still shocked), Aly Raisman (love her parents), Jordan Wieber (still want to cry for her) and crew?
  • And how can you forget Kerri Walsh and Misty May? They were dominant in a sport that they make look so easy, when it definitely is not.
  • Then we have Oscar Pistorius. The first double amputee runner running with able-bodied men. Enough said.

There were so many great Olympic stories. I can’t even begin to name them all. But one of my favorites was one I didn’t even witness. My mom told me about it (so thanks mom for the content of this entire post). It was Felix Sanchez who won the 400-m hurdles. Felix had previously won gold this same event in the 2004 Athens games, but couldn’t quite do it in Beijing. 4 years ago, the morning of his preliminary heat in Beijing, he woke up to find out that his grandmother had passed away. The favorite to win this race, ended up coming in 22nd place out of 25 runners.

But he has his comeback story now. Fox News Latino posted the following article. Here is an excerpt:

London –  Dominican American Félix Sánchez won the 400-meter hurdles final with the memory of his late grandma on his mind and in his heart winning his second career gold at age 34, and the Dominican Republic’s first medal of the 2012 Games.

He ran with a photo of the two of them pinned beneath his race bib, and “Abuela” — Spanish for “Grandmother” — written on his yellow spikes.

And after those shoes carried him to a no-doubt-about-it victory in 47.63 seconds Monday night Sánchez pulled out that picture, placed it down on the track, knelt and tenderly kissed the image of the woman who raised him.

“I’ve been really emotional all week, thinking about her,” Sánchez said. “All of us do it — you think about winning, you train so hard. You get to this moment and everything has to go right for you to pull it off.”

Ironically, it started raining. It just made me feel like my grandmother was crying tears of joy. She was proud of me. – Felix Sánchez, Dominican American Olympian

I love this motivation he had. The desire and the drive to get back to where he was in 2004. And he did it all for his grandma. A truly touching story and it even ties back to P&G’s maternal theme of the Olympics.

I don’t know about you but it sounds to me like Felix and his grandma were pretty close. Maybe she was the one to drop him off at practice? Maybe she was his biggest fan and attended every event? I don’t know, but I’d like to think so. She was obviously a big enough part of his life and his career that he would dedicate this race to her and stand on that podium in tears for her. P&G says, “Thank You, Mom” to the person who has the hardest job, but also the best. We all have that person in our life who has helped us get to where we are today.

I bet Felix’s was his “abuela.”


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