American women kick …

Old timey outhouse connected to state of the art communications towerSomeone said the other day, “American women kick (you know what)!”

It was a guy who said it, but the conversation that led to it was started by a woman. And both were right. Women had taken the majority of the U.S. gold medals – 24 of 34 at that point, I believe.

Yes, American woman do kick (you know what).

And so do American men.

And so do a lot of other people at the games.

The Olympics are not grade school soccer, where everyone is “special,” everyone plays and everyone wins. This is the best of the best, competitors who have had to eat, sleep and breath their sport most of their lives, and where less than a half-time or couple hundredths, and sometimes a teaspoon of luck or slip of a grip, separate those who go home with gold and those who just go home.

It’s Sunday, and men’s speed skater Apollo Ohno told Dan Patrick he has four days to decide whether he will complete in the 2014 Winter Olympics (opening ceremonies Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia, for those keeping track).

The guy who took gold home to Jamaica didn’t only that morning put down his beer and leave the beach to run faster than everyone else. In fact, the story is told that he ran really fast, and more or less effortlessly, until he learned someone else was almost as fast and working hard to get faster. Then Usain Bolt went to work.

Every two years, I am awed by the strength and dedication shown by the Olympians. Just being there makes them winners in my book. Anytime your competitor is among the best there is, and the difference between Gold and no medal at all is less than a half-second, or less than four-tenths of a point, you’re a winner.

If you tried as hard as you could, and were edged out, WOW!

The 2012 games will be over tonight, and we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming. Our kids won some medals, maybe more by closing than I know at writing – as I write this, Team USA won Gold against Spain, and closing is a few hours away.

As I told the granddaughter the other day, winning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing, while the game is on. Between games, you congratulate your opponent – for winning, or for making you work so hard to win.

Next games, we go for 40 Gold. The Chinese are pretty formidable, though. I watched a diver cry because he “only” won Silver.

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