Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

The face of Great Britain’s Olympics: an observant Muslim named Mohamed Farah wins the 5,000 meters to the screams of 80,000

August 14, 2012

 

Mohamed Farah didn’t  win as many medals as Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt, but he was surely the great hero of the Olympics, at least to his British countrymen. He did what only four had done before him: win both the 10,000 meters and the 5,000, two races that along with the marathon, take the greatest toll on the human body.

It was thrilling to watch Farah move from the rear of the pack to the front, a third of the way through, then hold the lead as one challenger after another made a run at him.

But the most thrilling thing of all was to hear the crowd of 80,000, mostly Britons, screaming without letup, for the final ten minutes of the 13+ minute race. In a country whose reputation has been sullied by some vicious anti-Muslim sentiments and actions, here was the entire stadium yelling themselves hoarse for an observant Muslim who immigrated from Somalia when he was eight.

The roars didn’t let up when, just after crossing the finish line (more…)

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Hooray for the USA women’s soccer team: winning with grace and losing with grace

July 18, 2011

The USA women’s soccer lost to Japan in the World Cup final on penalty kicks, but what a show they put on! It really seemed like watching a game, complete with sportsmanship and good feelings all around. No diving, no faking injuries, lots of smiles, and a helping hand whenever an opposing player was knocked down.

They played with incredible energy, outplayed the Japanese except when it came to the important area of getting the ball into the net, and were as gracious in losing as they had been earlier in winning. Megan Rapinoe’s speed and passing, Hope Solo’s goal-keeping, and Alex Morgan’s shooting, bode well for next year’s Olympics.

We hated to lose on a penalty shootout, but we were glad enough to get by Brazil on PKs, so maybe we shouldn’t complain. And if the USA team had to lose, who better to lose to than Japan. See you next year in London.