Another Olympic marathon, another Olympic turn-out.
Yesterday’s brilliant weather and energetic crowd ended the London 2012 Games in style. While it was hard to see 2 more Americans drop out due to nagging injuries (that makes 3 out of 6 of our marathoners), the fact that nearly 20% of male marathoners that started didn’t finish puts the brutality of the event into perspective. On the other hand, it was thrilling to watch Meb, a 37-year-old Eretrian-turned-American who was dropped by Nike, move up from 19th to 4th in the last half. It was also neat to see the 3 Kenyans talking and working together during the later stages of the race. The real hero of the day, however, was Stephen Kiprotich, who rallied from behind to earn Uganda’s second gold medal ever and first one in 40 years.
As the last marathoners crossed the finish line, I was a little sad to think that 4 whole years separate us from the next Olympics. From the friendly volunteers manning every city corner to the excitement that filled most pubs at night, my experience here has been inspiring, eye-opening, and unforgettable. I found myself pulling for Team GB nearly as hard as I did for the USA, and was thankful that my red, white and blue showed support for them both.
Four years is a long time to wait for the next Games, but also a sufficient amount of time to make some major jumps, both athletically and personally. No matter where 2016 finds me, however, I will always treasure the London Games, my first Olympic experience and the beginning of my Watson journey.