I'm watching an NBC special in which the public has voted for the greatest Olympic moments (30 of them). Most of them involve Americans, no surprise. It's wonderful to see so many of these again, even if each of them is shown only briefly. Some of my favorites involve women's track and field--Jackie Joyner-Kersee's second heptathlon medal and Australian Cathy Johnson's 400-meter win at Sidney. This is a great way to get in the mood for the Games next week! It's so wonderful to think of everyone coming together. The Olympics is a moment for normally obscure countries like Morocco to shine on the world stage, as stars in sports that don't generally get a lot of air time such as middle and long-distance running. When I think of the sheer variety of sports, there truly is something for everyone--these days even tennis. (Which this year will be played at Wimbledon. A venue like that can't easily be equaled by other countries!)
Related question: Mary Lou Retton is still famous, and Nastia Liukin is as well, but you don't hear much (and never did) about Carly Patterson, the only other American ever to win the all-around gold. Why is that, I wonder? She was the first American to win after Mary Lou, and the first ever to win in a non-boycotted Olympics. (Not to denigrate Retton's win by any means!) So why didn't she have an impact comparable to the others? Or even to Shaun Johnson, who won other golds in Beijing.