First, in my last post, I had mentioned that Britain is not thought of as a medal powerhouse. Who would have thought that just one day after that comment, they achieved their best medal day in a century. Saturday was super Saturday for the Brits, winning 6 gold medals in one day. No wonder Will and Kate were not with me watching USA win medals at Wimbledon. They were in the Olympic Stadium watching their athletes clean house! Early in the week, Britain was ranked around #20 in medals and all of a sudden, they shot up to #3. That is super, and it's so nice to see such spectacular achievement. Bravo, Team GB!
We enjoyed 4 matches at Center Court at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (aka Wimbledon). We saw home favorite Andy Murray and mixed doubles partner Laura Robson move on to their semi-finals, Serena Williams win gold, the USA's Bryan brothers win gold and Serena and Venus Williams move on to their doubles finals. Smashing!
Parting perspectives on the Brit's coverage of the games: Obviously they are very focused on their athletes. This is one difference we notice from the coverage at home. While of course NBC will comment on the US athletes, they will also tell stories about and interview non-US competitors. Their commentators are strongly informed about the competitors' backgrounds (e.g., they knew the strongest dive of one of the female Chinese divers). I did not sense this in watching British TV. Maybe they had the knowledge but just didn't share it. Anyway, I found that interesting. I enjoyed their bringing back former Olympians (many American) to comment on events. Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Ian Thorpe (Australian Olympic swimmer) were just a few of the former fan favorites.
I think London did an amazing job in organizing these games. Everything was well marked. The volunteers that were everywhere were extremely pleasant and helpful. We had no major "crowding" problems and no major transportation issues. With the exception of one soaking downpour while waiting to get into the aquatic center, we were pretty much "high and dry". This was an experience of a lifetime, and I am SO GRATEFUL to have had this opportunity.