American youth shine in London

Maria Turinetti, IVLeader Staff Columnist

Just about a month ago, the 2012 London Olympics held their closing ceremonies.
Our great nation finished first in overall medals received with 46 gold, 29 silver, and 29 bronze for a grand total of 104 medals. This year’s Olympic Games proved to be a fantastic year for the Americans. Olympic greats from years past surfaced and let the world know they had not lost their mojo.
Michael Phelps looked a bit weak in trials compared to the other swimmers, but as we all know he finished strong and is now the most decorated Olympian in history with 22 medals and 18 of those medals being gold. However, a “new” swimming superstar stole Phelps’s thunder in the Games. Ryan Lochte is not new to the Olympics by any means, but to the general public it seemed as though he was. He has been participating in swimming in the Olympics since 2004, but he went unnoticed the past few Games thanks to Phelps’s incredible Olympic career.  Over the past four years, Lochte has been training extensively with a variety of different workout regimens.
In an interview with People  Magazine prior to the London Olympics, Lochte discussed how his on-land workouts would help him beat Phelps in the water. Lochte’s weight coach, who participates in strong man competitions, helped him integrate some tough exercises into his routine – like flipping 850 lb. tires. Recalling a particular day of training Lochte stated, “My coach got into my head, saying, ‘You gotta get London, you gotta get London!’And I got 20 in a row. Then I collapsed on the ground!” Evidently all of Lochte’s hard work paid off. In the 2012 London Olympics, Lochte won two gold medals, two silver and a bronze. He even succeeded and beat his pal Phelps in the 400 IM. Lochte has received many endorsement deals and is expected to try his hand at acting where he will be appearing on the hit CW show “90210.” He is also rumored to be on the next season of The Bachelor.
Moving on to the ‘Fab Five,’  aka the women’s gymnastics team: the five teenagers were unstoppable this year. The girls went into the games with extreme amounts of confidence, but never allowed themselves to overindulge in their victories. The night of the Women’s Team Final, the USA’s only competition seemed to be Russia. Towards the end of the final, Russia’s gymnasts appeared to be struggling with their routines. They were not sticking their landings, rather throwing their tricks too hard and unsteadily wobbling off the mat. In the end the USA’s fate was in the hands of team captain Aly Raisman. As she hit the final tumbling pass of her floor routine, tears of joy streamed down her face. The girls stood hand in hand glancing up at the scoreboard waiting for the big announcement.
The Olympic victory was the first one for the U.S. women’s team since the Magnificent Seven’s gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The ceremonies came to a close on Aug. 28. Many American Olympians said, “See you in Rio in 2016!”