A London Olympics Roundup, L.A. Style


All right, the Spice Girls reunited.

As did Madness with their classic “Our House”.

George Michael did his “Freedom” thing.

The Olympic flag has been passed to Rio De Janeiro’s mayor, as that city will host the next Games in 2016.

IOC President Jacques Rogge declared the London Games closed, and the torched has been doused.

I think it’s high time to assess how the athletes from the Los Angeles area, including the ones from UCLA and USC, did these past 17 days – I’ll go on a limb and say that the Olympic athletes from America’s second largest city did spectacularly, as they were a big factor in the U.S. winning the overall and the gold medal count with 104 and 46, respectively.

Beach volleyballers Misty May Treanor – who incidentally is the wife of Dodgers backup catcher Matt Treanor – and Kerri Walsh provided a big highlight in winning their third straight gold medal, beating fellow Americans (and USC Trojans) Jen Kessy and April Ross to do so.

McKayla Maroney, hailing from Long Beach, and Kyla Ross, hailing from Aliso Viejo, were two of the “Fierce Five” U.S. Gymnasts that took the team gold for the first time since the Magnificent Seven in 1996.

And let’s not forget the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and the Clippers Chris Paul, who helped lead their version of the Dream Team to basketball gold on the Games’ final day, beating Kobe’s Laker teammate Pau Gasol and his Spanish team 107-100.

As for how L.A’s two major institutions of higher learning fared, USC has certainly earned the right to be proud as no other American college won more medals than the Trojans. Their haul was 12 gold medals among their 25 total, the most in school history, led by Alison Felix’s three gold medals on the track and Rebecca Soni’s two golds and one silver in the pool.

Bryshon Nellum should get a special mention here, as the Trojan overcame being shot and nearly losing his career to win a track and field silver medal and being chosen to carry the American flag in the closing ceremonies. Amy Rodriguez was on the gold-medal winning women’s soccer team, while Lauren Wenger and Tumualalii Anae helped in women’s water polo.

In all, ‘SC has now won 287 medals, with 135 of them being of the gold kind.

UCLA did well in London too, particularly as far as team glory as Bruins played a big part in winning the gold in women’s soccer, women’s water polo, and the basketball dream team as NBAers and Bruin alums Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook significantly contributed.

Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux were big factors in the women’s soccer gold, as were Courtney Mathewson and Kelly Rulon in helping the women’s water polo team to the top of their medal stand. Dawn Harper contributed as won a silver in track and Field. The six gold medals were among the 12 overall that UCLA athletes are bringing back to Westwood. Bruin medal totals now stand at 253, including 125 gold medals.

I could list all of the medalists that call L.A., UCLA and USC home, but that would take way too long as that would require filling up a space the size of a relatively large book.

To say that it was a great Olympic Games would be an understatement, so much so that I’m disappointed that it’s over.

I guess I’ll have to wait until August 5, 2016 to get my Summer Games fix again.