As I write this, I'm watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I love the Olympics, and I'm saddened that the games are over. It's hard to believe that the past 17 days have gone by so quickly.
I've stayed up late each night trying to watch as many different games of the Olympics as possible. I went online and tried to catch up on things that I missed or to see the competitions that weren't shown on television such as Olympic weightlifting, some of the other track events and wrestling.
During the 2008 Olympics, we witnessed some incredible feats including Michael Phelps winning eight Olympic gold medals while setting seven new world records and one Olympic record and surpassing Mark Spitz's previous mark.
We saw Dara Torres, at 41 years of age, win a silver medal beating competitors as much as 25 years younger and missing the gold medal by one one-hundredth of a second. It was a bittersweet finish for Dara who proved that age doesn't matter and that you can be competitive at any age and win medals. Don't be surprised to see her in the 2012 Olympic games in London at age 45. Dara has also inspired thousands of people in their 30s, 40s and beyond to get back in the pool or begin strength training at the gym.
Jamaican Usain "Lightning" Bolt broke three world records and won gold medals in the 100m and 200m individual races and 4x100m relay. At 21 years of age (22 the day after breaking records and winning gold), he showed how gifted he is and how easily he was able to break these records with very little experience. He will improve tremendously in the next four years and will be something to watch in 2012.
American Bryan Clay won gold in the decathlon bringing the medal back to the United States while be dubbed the "world's greatest athlete." I wrote about Bryan Clay in a previous blog, and I'm happy to see that his faith and hard work paid off.
Another athlete I wrote about, Kerron Clement, also won a few medals during the 2008 Olympics. I was happy to see that his faith in God and the blessings bestowed upon him help carried him through the Olympics and onto the medal podium. Kerron was very excited to win silver in one of his races and was so happy to be at the Olympics.
There are many more athletes that inspired me and thousands of others including American gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson, women's gold medal discus thrower Stephanie Brown Trafton, 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, the men's volleyball gold-medal team, the Lopez family and so many more!
There were also moments of sorrow during the Olympics including near misses for a medal, the men's and women's 4x100m relay teams' disqualification after dropping the batons, Lola Jones seventh-placed finish after stumbling over the ninth hurdle in the 10om hurdles among other tearful events.
Overall, the 2008 Beijing Olympics were an incredible show of athletic ability, talent, hard work and so much more from the beginning of the opening ceremonies through the last night of the closing ceremonies and the extinguishing of the Olympic torch in Beijing and the look ahead to London in 2012.
I'm sad to see that the games are now over, and we'll have to wait four more years to witness so many memorable moments and incredible stories of all the unsung heroes that exemplify what the Olympics are truly about. However, I'll forever remember the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and will look forward to the games in London in 2012.