It sort of hard to believe, but we're now just half a month away from the kickoff of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. K-State fans, of course, are going to be laser-focused on one particular event: the men's high jump, in which our own Erik Kynard will be attempting to bring home the gold.
In the midst of that anticipation, however, there are also memories. Every four summers, we come away with great, iconic moments we can never shake. Some are thrilling, some heartbreaking. Some take place in competition, some outside the stadium. Some are sort of forced upon us by the media, while some take place organically, forcing the media to recognize them after the fact. There's a laundry list of those memories that have stuck with me over the years, but one which is of major importance to us here at Bring on the Cats.
- The boycott of the 1980 summer games in Moscow, which still provided us with the classic Sebastian Coe/Steve Ovett duel in the 1500, lack of network television coverage be damned.
- Another tarnished games in Los Angeles followed, yet we had Mary Lou Retton and Janet Evans and Carl Lewis and a great performance by the American boxers.
- In Seoul, we had FloJo running wild, and Greg Louganis winning gold despite nearly decapitating himself on the diving platform... but we most remember Ben Johnson's disgrace, the execrable judging in boxing, and the stunning failure of the USA basketball team which led to the Dream Team four years later.
- The Dream Team in Barcelona, which overshadowed the most exciting women's 100m ever, the return of South Africa to the Olympics, and the first summer games competition by a unified Germany since World War II.
- Muhammad Ali lighting the torch in Atlanta (the moment that most resonates with me, personally, out of all the Olympics I've seen), and Michael Johnson and his gold shoes, and the wounded yet determined Kerri Strug... but we also had to absorb the shock of the bombing of Centennial Plaza.
- Rulon Gardner's stunning upset in Sydney, along with Cathy Freeman's 400 win, the unlikely gold medal in soccer for the Lions of Cameroon, and Ian Thorpe dominating the swimming pool... all followed by a pretty astounding concert at the closing ceremonies.
- Michael Phelps dominating the pool in Athens with six golds, and the shocking attack on marathon-leading Brazilian Vanderlei de Lima by a spectator.
- Phelps again ruling the roost in Beijing, seizing a record eight gold medals, along with the first US women's podium sweep in fencing since 1904, and Usain Bolt's electrifying win in the 100m followed by capturing the 200m as well.
That's a pretty nice list of memories, isn't it? Of course, there's one memory that sticks out for us here: in my lifetime, only one Wildcat has ever captured an individual Olympic gold medal: Kenny Harrison, winner of the triple jump in 1996 at Atlanta.
What memories jump out at you? Are there any events which are burned into your brain that might not be the ones "everyone else" seems to remember?
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