Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not Strictly Related But…

…Has anyone been watching the Olympics?

Pipi and I have been getting up early to watch U.S. women’s soccer. (On TV, they’re always identified as “Football Women.” I like that).

Some really exciting and surprising things have happened. Germany, the 2007 World Cup champion, fell apart and didn’t make it to the final Olympic match. On the other hand, Japan, usually a bracket-padding team, is doing phenomenally well. They made it to the bronze-medal match. In fact, they played Germany for it early this morning in a match-up of the surging underdogs and the surprised superstars. If you know what happened DON’T TELL ME! I recorded it. I normally like the German team, but today I’d like to see Japan win the bronze for effort.

The biggest surprise of all, though, was the performance of the U.S. team. Just a few weeks before the Olympics, our star player, goal machine Abby Wambach, broke her leg. Most people (including me) thought we were doomed, but amazingly, the team won the gold medal this morning.

It was a very exciting game, won on a goal scored by a player who hardly ever scored during the Wambach era. In addition, Hope Solo performed brilliantly. I’ve always found her a little hard to get behind. (I can forgive the immature outburst at the World Cup, but I have a hard time with the eyeliner she wears on the field.) But I have to grudgingly admit, she came up big in goal.

Everyone came up big, which was a beautiful thing to see. The U.S. women came together and played as a team. A year ago, we might as well have been called “The U.S. Wambach Soccer Team.” If we were a rock group, we’d have been Abby and the Assistants. But today, it was a real team effort. And isn’t that what the Olympics are about?

(Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. Bolt.)

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