Asians and Asian Americans Outshine at 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS


August 23, 2012

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MYDOSTI.COM

Olympic Games happen once every four years and the thirtieth Olympiad held in London was an extravagant event. The world’s greatest sporting event came to a close on Sunday August 12, after 17 days of record-breaking performances that left the world buzzing.

August 23, 2012

By Sam Prasad Jillella – Special to MYDOSTI.COM

Olympic Games happen once every four years and the thirtieth Olympiad held in London was an extravagant event. The world’s greatest sporting event came to a close on Sunday August 12, after 17 days of record-breaking performances that left the world buzzing.

Opening Ceremony: A colorful beginning to the 2012 London Olympiad

On Friday, July 27, the 2012 Olympic Games kicked off with the opening ceremony events, orchestrated by filmmaker Danny Boyle, which included the grand entry of “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” jumping from a parachute, escorted by James Bond 007.

Royal arrival of "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II" to Declare Open the 2012 London Olympiad

The closing ceremony brought the games to a fitting end with a three-hour finale that featured performances by Ray Davies, the reunited Spice Girls, George Michael, Brian May, Annie Lennox, Fat Boy Slim, Russell Brand, Eric Idle, and Liam Gallagher.

Closing Ceremony: A spectacular closure to the 2012 London Olympiad

The 2012 Olympiad was well represented by participants from 205 countries which included 43 countries from the Asian continent.

The 2012 London Olympics was unique and significant because of the overwhelming participation of female athletes. Over all, more women won medals at the London Olympics than men did.  56% of the medals of Team USA were won by female athletes, and 66% of the all Gold Medals, won by Team USA, were won by women.

Michael Phelps: Most decorated Olympian

American swimmer Michael Phelps won 6 more medals totaling 22 medals from 4 Olympics, and became the most decorated Olympian of all time, surpassing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

Usain ’Lightning’ Bolt: Fastest man on earth

Jamaica’s legendry sprinter Usain ’Lightning’ Bolt was not only the fastest man on the planet, but also  became the first sprinter in history to defend the 100 Meters and 200 Meters Gold medals from the previous Olympics (Beijing) .

The top four medal-winning nations are: U.S.A (104), China (87), Russia (82), and Great Britain (65).

Coming to the Asian dominance, China proved as a genuine Olympic super-power, and both North Korea and South Korea were impressive. More was expected from Japan, but won 38 medals.

China won 38 gold medals. South Korea was the only other Asian team that finished in the top 10. North Korea, finishing 20th, had their best Games in 20 years, Hong Kong celebrated a silver in cycling, and Singapore won its first individual medal in 52 years.

India couldn't replicate Beijing by claiming its second individual gold, but finished with two silver medals and four bronze – their highest individual total.

Mongolia won 5 medals, Thailand 3 medals, Indonesia, 2, Malaysia 2, Afghanistan won 1.

More than a dozen Asian and Pacific Islander Americans represented Team USA at the London Olympics, and several more served as back-ups or replacements. The Asian American medal winners are:

Nathan Adrian – Swimming

  • Silver Medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte
  • Gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle final
  • Gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay

Adrian, 24, from Bremerton, Wash., began swimming at the age of 5, after seeing his brother and sister take up the sport. Adrian’s mother, born in Hong Kong, is a nurse for the Bremerton School District and his father is a retired nuclear engineer. Adrian holds a pre-med degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and hopes to one day become a doctor.

Lindsey Berg – Volleyball

  • Silver medal

Lindsey Berg – Volleyball – Berg began honing her volleyball skills on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where she grew up. In 1998, Berg graduated from Punahou High School in Honolulu. She went on to play volleyball for the University of Minnesota.  The volleyball star has a mixed heritage. Her mother is Hawaiian-Chinese-Portuguese and her father is Lithuanian.

Clarissa Chun – Wrestling

  • Bronze medal in the 48 Kg Category

Clarissa Chun – Wrestling – Chun made her second Olympics appearance. Standing at 4’11″, she is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to wrestling, Chun enjoys water polo, swimming, gymnastics, judo, and bowling. She is of half Chinese and half Japanese heritage and is currently studying communications at the University of Colorado.

 Paige McPherson – Taekwondo

  • Bronze medal in the women's 67-kilogram division

Paige McPherson – Taekwondo – McPherson was born in Abilene, Texas and adopted when she was just four days old. She graduated from Black Hills Classical Christian Academy in 2009 and currently attends Miami-Dade College in Florida. McPherson is one of four American taekwondo athletes who competed in the 2012 Olympics. The 21-year-old, who has earned the nickname “McFierce,” is half Filipino and half African American.

Tamari Miyashiro – Volleyball

  • Silver Medal

Tamari Miyashiro – Volleyball – Miyashiro competed in her first Olympic games in London this summer. Miyashiro is of Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Irish, and German descent, and comes from a family of athletes. Miyashiro attended the University of Washington in Seattle. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in interdisciplinary visual arts.

Kyla Ross – Gymnastics

  • Gold medal – US Team Event

Kyla Ross, 15, is the youngest person on Team USA’s gymnastics roster. She was born in Honolulu and currently lives in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Ross earned the second-highest scores on the uneven bars at the 2012 Olympic trials. Her father is Japanese and Black, and her mother is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent.

London Olympics: It was sheer excitement.  One of the most exciting sights was the South African double-amputee   "Blade Runner," Oscar Pistorius, nick-named “the fastest man on no legs.” because he runs on carbon-fiber blades. He anchored the South African team in the 4×400-meter relay final, bringing the 80,000-strong crowd to its full voice.

Oscar Pistorius: The "Blade Runner"

Pistorius must have brought a lot of inspiration to aspiring Olympians. 

The London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony included the march of all of the Athletes together, with no divisions along the lines of nationality, bringing all the athletes together as one world nation.

The Olympic flag being handed from London to organizers of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

London handed over the Olympic Flag to the mayor Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the host nation of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

See you in Rio!

Olympic Special by MYDOSTI.COM


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