SPORTS PANEL What was your favorite Olympic moment? |

SPORTS PANEL What was your favorite Olympic moment?

The Beijing Olympics are over, which means the factories and smog will return to the city, just like many memories from the games will become hazy.

However, one memory is crystal clear in my mind from the past two weeks. The Redeem Team returning the United States to the gold medal podium was my favorite moment of the games.

I was crushed in 2004 when our men’s basketball team took the bronze. The U.S. not winning a gold medal in basketball is like playing golf without certain unnamed beverages. It just doesn’t feel right.

I watched anxiously the past three years, watching the team grow and struggle some. Luke Braby and I watched at odd times of day, all while texting each other about the game.

It was great to watch the gold medal game live Sunday morning and see the U.S. win a tough game. Seeing Melo, LeBron, and D-Wade with gold medals was worth the wait.

Now it’s time to continue the dominance and work toward London in 2012. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to watch it in person. It’d beat staying up so late like this time.

With so many record-breaking, seat-raising events that have happened throughout these games, it is hard to choose just one favorite Olympic moment, but I thought that the men’s Olympic triathlon was pretty amazing.

It isn’t the most popular event when compared to Usain Bolt’s sweep in the 100 meters, 200 and 4×400 relay, or Michael Phelps eight gold medal swims.

If you watched the race, it was very interesting because it was a race that doesn’t sport the typical results … the underdog won.

Jan Frodeno of Germany came from behind to win his first-ever Olympic gold medal after being overlooked as a gold medal contender. Before this race, he was said to have never won a major race and lost most of his races in the final sprint.

Not this time.

In a close race for first, he out-sprinted the final pack, including Canadian Simon Whitfield and Spaniard Javier Gomez.

I just thought it was a great moment in the Olympics because it just goes to show you that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, and great things are possible for anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re ranked first or last going into a race, but how you finish it.

Unfortunately, with no television at home, I haven’t seen any of the Olympics. However, I heard all about the 4×100 freestyle swimming upset pulled off by the Americans, so I found the clip of it on the Internet, and I would have to say that was quite an inspiring moment.

The late surge in the last 50 meters of that race has to rank up there with some of the greatest late comebacks in all of sports.

My favorite moment from the Olympics?

As I let my mind’s eye wander back over the kaleidoscope of the past couple of weeks, two quiet moments, among all the effort and exultation, remain.

The first was the grace of elder stateswoman Dara Torres, finding an excuse to delay the start of a race so a swimmer from another country could get to her spot in time.

Asked afterwards whether that remarkable gesture affected her pre-race preparation, Torres smiled broadly and shook her head. Unbelievable class and grace ” no ugly American, she.

The other moment was very brief … two marathoners out in front of the pack, a few miles from the finish, despite being from different countries, shared a bottle of water as they ran, taking turns drinking and pouring some over their heads ” amazing camaraderie, exemplifying the spirit the Olympics strive to attain.

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