Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympics Worldwide: Winning Willful Women Warriors

Although perceived and observed as mostly physical, the London Games in 2012 as it was in Beijing in 2008, and as it will be in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, is really more about the Olympic Spirit and for which it stands.

As gleaned from the organization’s mission, Olympic Spirit is about fair play, fierce but peaceful competition, solidarity, friendship, and mutual understanding. It is about the display of courage and stamina; of personal and national honor and pride; of high achievement motivation, ideals, hopes and dreams!

Most importantly, it is about building a peaceful and better world!

A glimpse of the desired world is best displayed as we watched the grandiose Opening Ceremony; the games in different sports as they were played fiercely, fairly and in a friendly and fun way; and the captivating, colorful, creative, cool and classic Closing Ceremony.


Like in any competition, there were winners and losers or, as what my late father would say, suspended/delayed victors. The proof is in the form of medals with the best getting Gold, the second best getting Silver, and the third best getting Bronze.

This prompted my barber to say jokingly, “Since the United States was no. 1 in Gold by winning 46; no.1 in Silver by getting 29; and no.1 in Bronze by garnering 29; does this mean U.S.A. is best, second best, and third best at the same time?”

Sometimes my barber’s logic could be fallacious but I still appreciate him for being my regular source of the public pulse, and at times, acceptable “words of wisdom”. So, I let it go.

But there is really no doubt that based on strictly numerical terms with medals as the objective measurement; U.S.A. is really the clear winner this time around. It beat China by 17 medals; Russia by 22; Great Britain by 39; Germany by 60; Japan by 68; Australia by 71; and France by 72.


Worth mentioning is the corresponding contributions of the Men and Women athletes of the United States. The Men won a total 45 medals divided into 17, 15 and 13, Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively. The Women won a total 59 medals divided into 29, 15, and 15, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively.

In short, the Women contributed 63% of the Gold won, and 57% of the total medal haul, while the Men’s contribution was 37% and 43%, respectively. The statistics put things in clearer and better perspectives re Women’s role in the pursuit of a more peaceful and better world.

Analyzing further, in team sports, a comparison between the performance of the Men and Women is quite interesting.

In Basketball, while both the Men’s and Women’s teams won Gold, the performance of the latter was more dominating than the former en route to the finals. In fact, in the Gold game, the Women’s team won by 36 points against its opponent, while the Men won by only 7 points.

In Soccer, the Women’s team won third consecutive Gold while the Men did not even qualify.

In Field Hockey, the Women qualified while Men did not.

In Volleyball, the Women made the second consecutive title game while the Men were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In Water Polo, the Women won their first ever Gold while the Men were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Even in Beach Volleyball, the two Women’s teams were both competing for the Gold while the Men were eliminated in earlier rounds.

Either working individually or as a team, it seems that U.S.A. could use its own Olympic performance to encourage other countries of the world that greater participation by women would actually result in a better world. Saudi Arabia, for example, should not limit itself to sending only ONE token female participant.


Improvements are shown through the records that are broken in Olympic games.  In this London Olympics 2012, there were 25 World Records that were broken and of course, there were more in the case of the Olympic records.

It is expected that more of them would be surpassed at the Rio Olympics in 2016. It is a testament to the advancement of mankind in general, and that of the human Olympic spirit in particular.

The venue of the Olympic games and events has become a track, a field, a ring, a pool, or boulevard of achievable dreams. To most of the athletes, it is actually a ring or boulevard of broken dreams. This is true in the case of  Filipino boxer Mark Anthony Barriga whose hopes and dreams of earning a medal were dashed by unfair officiating and by the mixing of the art of boxing with wrestling on the part of his opponent.

There were only a little over 300 Gold medals awarded with several thousand athletes competing. Many of the athletes’ hopes and dreams would certainly be dashed. But the failures would be just suspended successes as each athlete starts a new day of preparation for the next challenge of one’s courage, stamina and achievement motivation.

The Closing Ceremony displayed the Olympic Spirit of mutual understanding, friendship, and peaceful co-existence. It was a colorful, captivating, creative, cool, and classic Closing Ceremony.

Thanks to NBC, millions of people worldwide were able to witness the grandiose beginning, the exciting events, and the unforgettable ending. Daytime weekday viewership averaged 7.1 million, which is a 31% jump from 2008, a record.  The audience totaled about 220 million, which is the most watched event in U.S. television history.

Rio de Janeiro 2016, here we come!!!

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