Thursday, August 21, 2008

Golden Girls

In an Olympics filled with awesome moments, one of the sweetest for me took place last night, when Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh took gold in beach volleyball. Not just history made in a great game, but for the second time in Beijing, they took the time to let their love of our unloved President take center stage.
"Can I just say one thing really quick?" Walsh interjected during their courtside NBC interview. "Mr. President, we thank you for your inspiration and for what you do." "This is for you!" May-Treanor shouted over her.
Breath. of. fresh. air. Even beyond politics. In contrast to a few track & field athletes, too into themselves to bother facing NBC's cameras for their nano-second interviews, these two excessively celebrated all over the venue in a good way, leaving a wake of cheers and huge smiles on everyone they high-fived in the stadium. And they high-fived pretty much everyone in the stadium.

As "Six Feet of Sunshine" Walsh darted for hugs from fan to family alike, May-Treanor danced with the Chinese cheerleaders and spread some of her mother's ashes on the sand. Her husband, Flordia Marlins catcher Matt Treanor (check out this pic), watched his wife from the visiting dugout in San Francisco and reportedly "cried like a baby."

The patriotism from Team USA has been palpable this year. Bela Karolyi's passion for the "YU.S.A." brought a tear to our eyes as it did his. Kobe/LeBron's unapologetic nationalism during one interview was a fist-pumping moment at home. The men's basketball team teared up during the national anthem and cheered the President's appearance early on. (Black athletes have been the most bankable patriots in general this year, seems like.)

Yep. Bush Derangement Syndrome may be at epidemic levels in Hollywood, but it's never been red, white and bluer in the world of sports.

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