Plenty of people have better or more necessary things to do than follow the Olympics on TV and elsewhere. Others have little or no interest in sports. Good for them: Books need readers and PBS, viewers.
For the rest of us, the Summer Games in London were a treat from start to finish. There was spectacle concluding Sunday when athletes and music mingled in the main stadium teamwork, genuine athletic achievement and an overall absence of disaster showing that the world, for all its troubles, can still put on a big event, safely, and make it work.
Terrorists stayed home, or at least were kept at bay by heavy security. London, during the two-plus weeks of the games, went on its merry way, generally without major transportation tie-ups. Englands notorious rain, while making an appearance, stayed mainly on the plain in Spain, or somewhere. To spectators delight, Britain did spectacularly well in the medal count, finishing fourth.
But while the Brits had plenty to cheer, it was the American athletes who excelled overall. Reversing the results from the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the U.S. topped the gold medal count with 46, to Chinas 38. And American teams and individuals again garnered the most total medals, with 104. Notably, the U.S. women won 29 golds, and 58 medals overall.
Clearly, the notion that were a nation of couch potatoes, or that American youth are glued to smartphones, exercising only their fingertips, needs some amending. Were a big nation of all sorts of people, some of them highly skilled, and intensely dedicated, in running, jumping, throwing, swimming and acrobatic twists and turns. Lets hope we see even more of that four years from now.