I can check off the top thing I wanted to accomplish while here in Beijing: I watched the US Women’s 8+ crew win the gold medal at Shunyi, stood with my hand on my heart, and sang the words of the Star Spangled Banner as the red, white and blue went up the flagpole as the sun set to the west.
I can’t offer any intelligent play-by-play. The Americans led from the start and won by a nice margin. I expected them to win. It was an incredible spectacle to witness – from start to finish to medal ceremony to the victory lap before the grandstands. If you ever get the chance to be at an Olympic Games in person and be at an event where your country wins, then count yourself very fortunate, it’s pretty emotional.
I was rooting specifically for one rower, Elle Logan of Boothbay, Maine, who rowed at The Brooks School in North Andover, Mass. (my alma mater) with my daughter. Together they won the second of Elle’s two national high school championships, Elle going on to Stanford. This is, I believe, the third Olympic medal won by a Brooks rower – the others being Gene Clapp in ’72 and Douglas Burden in Barcelona and Atlanta in ’92 and ’96. Congratulations Elle!
The Victory Lap
Inside the last 250 meters in the sprint.