LONDON — I got my royal groove on, oh yeah! Seems like everywhere I went there were the Duke and Duchess (Harry and Kate) of Cambridge and Prince Harry at Olympic venues. One time I went to boxing at the ExCel Exhibition Hall to interview US boxer Claressa Shields and Kate was sitting right in front of me. I asked security if I could take a picture to prove to my friends that what I was saying really happened. They said no go; you all will have to believe me.
Making history: Kim Rhode won the Olympic gold medal in women’s skeet shooting, becoming the first woman to win three gold medals in Olympic shooting.
Rhode now joins basketball player Teresa Edwards, who is serving as chef de mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic delegation, as the only U.S. female athletes to win medals in five different Olympic Games, regardless of sport.
There were standout performances right across the program, from Felix Sanchez’s golden night in the 400m Hurdles to Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich stunning the Kenyan challenge to clinch Olympic Games gold in the men’s Marathon on The Mall.
In total, four world records were broken. Russia’s Elena Lashmanova set one in the women’s 20km Race Walk, and the USA 4x100m Relay quartet of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter blazed around the track in 40.82, beating East Germany’s record of 41.37, which had stood since 1985.
Too small? The London 2012 Olympic Village located on the Olympic Park, had residential apartments for around 17,000 athletes and officials during the Games, along with shops, restaurants, medical, media and leisure facilities, and large areas of park and open space.
However, if you were 6-foot-5 Usain Bolt or 6-foot-4 Michael Phelps, if they decided to stay in the village, forgive them if they felt a little cramped. Each sparsely decorated room has two single beds next to bedside tables and small lamps. But the beds are only 5 feet, 8 inches long, meaning many athletes might need extensions to get a good night’s sleep.
After the Olympics, the apartments will be transformed into 2,818 new homes.
Shout out to wrestler Jordan Burroughs out of the University of Nebraska. He came into the Games as the world champion in freestyle wrestling, having won gold at the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul. He fought through a tough draw and won the gold medal in London.
Ashton Eaton is officially crowned the new “world’s greatest athlete.” Although, in case you’re not up on your Latin, “decathlon” means 10 events. Eaton shattered the decathlon record, scoring 9,039 points at the US Olympic qualifiers event. He held on and won gold in his specialty.
Have to give it up for hurdler Lolo Jones, who was favored to win gold in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but a stumble on the final hurdle cost her a trip to the podium. She missed her window, but fought through the hurt and made the 2012 team. She finished fourth, but did run a season’s best time.
The hurt: USA’s John Orozco came into the Games as a favorite to win at least one medal in gymnastics. Instead, his USA Men’s team did not win any medals, and he didn’t make it in individual medal events.
USA WOMEN won their fifth consecutive gold. – Gary Montgomery photo