Special Sporting Moments
Once every 4 years, a special occasion graces our lives and our TV screen all but for a moment and vanishes again to reappear in another 4 years. This time, at the end of this week, it is reemerging again in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The Olympics for me is like the holy grail of sports. I am glued to the TV screen for those two weeks, watching individuals and teams; race, fence, ride, paddle, squat, grunt, groan, sweat, twist, twirl, shoot, swim, pass, dunk, dive, dip, dance, sing, cheer, jeer,
(I know what you’re thinking. Can he add any more descriptions?!?! Only 6 more to go…I promise.)
Jump, sprint, swing, fling, lose, and win.
For me, my favorite sporting moment of all time comes from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing:
I had been casually watching the men’s swimming competition all evening, seeing Michael Phelps wrack up medal after medal. He was on the fast track of becoming the greatest Olympian ever, trying to win 8 gold medals in one Olympic. One major hurdle that came for him wasn’t in his individual races but during a team relay. All night, the commentators were mentioning that the French had dominated the 4x100 freestyle relay in recent years and would be a formidable team to beat, possibly the best chance to hinder Michael Phelps goal of 8 gold medals. The French, apparently were boasting about their likelihood of winning the race before the meet. The Americans were worried.
The race began and the French were showing why they have dominated the race in recent years. Toward the end, they began to pull away with being just over a half body length ahead as our American anchor, Jason Lezak, took the final leg. Getting to the turn, with only one more stretch to swim for a medal, Lezak was still a half body length behind the French anchor, Alain Bernard, who had just won the gold in the individual 100 m freestyle. It looked like the Americans would get silver on this one.
But as you watch the swimmers get down the pool, you realize that Lezak is slowly inching closer and closer to get head to head with Bernard. At the end, Lezak and Bernard were neck and neck but the end of the pool was right there AND... who had touched the wall first!?!?! It was Lezak, who barely beat the French team by less than ten one hundredth of a second! The Americans won gold! And Michael Phelps went on to win 8 gold medals that year.
I’m usually not one to cheer and get overly excited at sporting events, but with this race, I could not help but jump off the couch and start yelling at the TV for the Americans. I became an impassioned fan and probably woke up my parents, who had just gone to bed, with my excitement.
Most of us love one sport or another, whether that is the Olympics, Baseball, Football, or Cricket. As we prepare to watch our American team enter another Olympics, let’s swap stories of our favorite sporting moments. It may be the Broncos winning the Super Bowl last year or that one football match you played in High School.
We would love to hear your stories in the comments below. In the meantime, enjoy some of Union Colony Insurance’s favorite sporting moments.
Kerry is a lover of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, always cheering them on in any sport or event. But one of Kerry’s favorite sporting moment was running in a mud run when he turned 50. Out of 1380 runners, he placed 125! Pretty good for a 50 year old having to crawl through mud!
For Lori, a lover of horses and horse racing, one of her favorite moments comes from 1978. Affirmed may not be the name most people remember to win the Triple Crown, but many believe he overcame tough competition to win the Triple Crown and was the last one to do so for 37 years until American Pharaoh won it last year.
Debbie has played and participated in many sports since childhood, including baseball, hockey, swimming, and even ice-skating. She was brave enough to give us some of her old ice-skating photos of her and her skating partner, Larry. She says that growing up in North Dakota, they could skate on the river but had to first shovel the snow off. Debbie never competed but participated in small shows for at the local skating rink.
Don’t let her fool you though, she coached her son’s 10 -11 aged baseball team to FIRST PLACE in the league and tournament. An exciting moment indeed!
"The greatest sporting moment of all time was when Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by over 20 lengths, clinching the Triple Crown in the United States. Even though he's a horse, I think that he was one of the greatest athletes of all time."
Devlin, Lori’s son, went to the Junior College World Series this year. He plays for Cisco College Wranglers. Devlin Granberg lead the team at the JC World Series in hitting with a .688 batting average. He leads the team in doubles with 21, even though he has played in 20 less games. He has a .901 slugging percentage and has 55 runs batted in. Watch what he has to say about this year’s JUCO World Series. His words are a reminder of why we love and have a deep appreciation of sports and being on a sport team.
What is your favorite sporting moment of all time?
Leave your story in the comments below!