London Summer Olympics

Who were winners and losers of 2012 London Olympics?


The bottom line for the London Summer Olympics: Memorable performances, and Great Britain and its people were great hosts.

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South Florida Olympians: How they fared:

• Sanya Richards-Ross, track and field, 400 and 200 meters: formerly Pembroke Pines and St. Thomas Aquinas, now Austin and Jacksonville. Gold medal 400 meters, gold medal 1,600 relay, 5th place 200 meters.

• T’Erea Brown, track and field, 400 hurdles: UM alum, still trains there with coach Amy Deem. 6th place 400 hurdles.

• Lauryn Williams, track and field, 400 relay pool: UM alum, still trains there with Amy Deem. Won her 400-relay heat, team went on to win gold medal.

• Anna Tunnicliffe, sailing, women’s match racing: Lives in Plantation, trains in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Lost in the quarterfinals.

• Danell Leyva, men’s gymnastics: Lives in Homestead, trains in Kendall. Bronze medal men’s all-around after innovative high-bar routine, 5th place team, 5th place high bar.

• Manuel Huerta, triathlon: Miami. 51st place.

• Brittany Viola, diving: UM alum, still trains there with Randy Abelman. 15th place 10-meter platform semifinal.

• Foluke Akinradewo, women’s volleyball: St. Thomas Aquinas High alum. Silver medal.

• Robin Prendes, men’s rowing Lightweight 4s: Coral Park High alum, then Princeton, now training with national team in Omaha. Finished 2nd place in Lightweight Four B Final, which equals 8th place overall.

• Sylvia Fowles, basketball: Miami, WNBA. Gold medal, 5th in a row for Team USA.

• LeBron James, basketball: Heat. His 20 points on Saturday were a big reason the U.S. survived a 99-95 scare against Lithuania. Gold medal, 2nd in a row for Team USA.

• Serena Williams, tennis: Palm Beach Gardens. Won gold medal women’s singles after cruising past Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1. Gold medal doubles with sister, Venus.

• Venus Williams, tennis: Coral Gables. Doubles gold medal with sister, Serena.

• Paige McPherson, Taekwondo: Miami. Bronze medal 67 kg.

• Sarah Lihan, Sailing: St. Thomas Aquinas alum. 7th place Saturday in 470 women’s race.

• Laura Bennett, triathlon: North Palm Beach. 17th place overall.

Foreign Olympians who train in South Florida:

• Debbie Ferguson, track and field, Bahamas (UM): 5th 100-meter heat.

• Steve Grotowski, beach volleyball, Great Britain (Boynton Beach): 0-3 record.

• Ruben Ross, synchro diving, Canada (UM alum): 6th place.

• Johanna Eyglo Gustafsdottir, swimming, Iceland (FIU): 2nd 100-back heat.

• Nick Schwab, swimming, Dominican Republic (Douglas High alum): won 200-free heat.

• Karen Torrez, swimming, Bolivia (Davie Nadadores club): 7th 100-free heat.

• Karen Vilorio, swimming, Honduras (Davie Nadadores club): 1st 100-back heat.

• Dalia Torrez, swimming, Nicaragua (Davie Nadadores club): 7th 100-fly heat.

• Pamela Benitez, swimming, El Salvador (Davie Nadadores club): 2nd 800-free heat.

• Rafael Alfaro, swimming, El Salvador (Davie Nadadores club): 4th 4000IM heat.

• Esteban Enderica, swimming, Ecuador (Davie Nadadores club): 6th 400-IM heat.

• Ivan Enderica, swimming/open water, Ecuador (Davie Nadadores club): N/A.

• Yousef Alaskari, swimming, Kuwait (Davie Nadadores club): 4th 200-fly heat.

• Felipe Lima, swimming, Brazil (Davie Nadadores club): 8th 100 breaststroke semifinal.

• Mauricio Fiol, swimming, Peru (Davie Nadadores club): 2nd 200-fly heat.

• Sebastian Jahnsen, swimming, Peru (Davie Nadadores club): 4th 200-free heat.

• Jemal Le Grand, swimming, Aruba (Davie Nadadores club): 4th 100-free heat.

• Daniela Vandenberg, swimming, Aruba (Davie Nadadores club): 3rd 800-free heat.

• Carolina Colorado, swimming, Colombia (Davie Nadadores club): 3rd 100-back heat, 2nd 200-back heat.

• Raul Martinez, swimming, Puerto Rico (Davie Nadadores club): 6th 200-free heat.

• Karen Riveros, swimming, Paraguay (Davie Nadadores club): 3rd 100-free heat.

• Arlene Semeco, swimming, Venezuela (S. Fla Swim Club Coral Springs): 3rd 50-free heat, 7th 100-free heat.

• Alia Atkinson, swimming, Jamaica (S. Fla Swim Club Coral Springs): 4th 100-breaststroke final.

• Vladislav Polyakov, swimming, Kazakhstan (S. Fla Swim Club Coral Springs): 3rd 100-breaststroke heat.

• Esau Simpson, swimming, Grenada (Nova Southeastern): 1st 100-free heat.

• Savanah Leaf, volleyball, Great Britain (UM): Team GB finished 1-3.

• Ciara Michel, volleyball, Great Britain (UM alum): Team GB finished 1-3.

After 17 days glued to the TV, the post-Olympics hangover surely has set in. No more track and field in prime time. No more swimming. No more gymnastics. No more BMX or rowing. Back to regularly scheduled programming (read: NFL training camp and Major League Baseball).

But before we tuck away our Olympic memories, here is a quick review of some of the biggest winners and losers of these 2012 Games.

•  Winner: Weather forecasters. After months of record rainfall, Olympians expected to be competing in puddles and waterlogged venues. Visitors packed galoshes, slickers and “brollies’’ (umbrellas). The weather changed just in time. It was unseasonably hot and sunny in the days leading up to Opening Ceremonies, and other than the occasional rain shower during the Games, the weather held up nicely.

•  Loser: Ticketless tourists. There was huge demand for tickets, but if you arrived here without tickets in hand, you were out of luck. Scalping is illegal, and they really enforce those laws. When they did release some tickets after British fans were outraged at the sight of empty seats on TV in the opening days, those tickets were sold online only to British and European fans.

•  Winner: Michael Phelps. The most-hyped story entering the Olympics was the rivalry between Phelps and Ryan Lochte. But that story line faded, and Phelps wound up getting most of the headlines after winning four golds and two silvers to bring his career total to 22 (18 golds, two silvers, two bronzes). He became the most decorated Olympian of all time, and if he were a country, he would rank 47th all time in medals.

•  Loser: Australian swimming. Oi! Oi! Oi! The Aussies usually rule at the pool, but they had their worst showing in 20 years. They won 10 medals in swimming, half of what they won in Beijing. For the first time since 1976, they didn’t win a single gold. James Magnussen, who came in with much fanfare, left with a silver and a bronze. The joke Down Under was that the team was going to change its colors from green and gold to green and silver (ouch!).

•  Winner: Usain Bolt. Once again, the Jamaican sprinter stole the show with golds in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 400 relay. He also declared himself a “living legend,” and who can argue? He is, arguably, the greatest sprinter of all time. And, he certainly is the greatest showman.

•  Winner: Volunteers. They were the 70,000 unsung heroes of the Games. They were unfailingly cheerful and helpful. One woman controlling the crowds became a YouTube sensation when she shouted through a megaphone: “We will be telling our children’s children about this day. Some of you will say, ‘I worked for the Olympics.’ Some of you will say, ‘I watched the Olympics.’ I’ll tell them I listened to it outside, and I heard a bit.”

•  Loser: Cab drivers. Many Londoners left town for fear of predicted chaos and huge crowds, and visitors were urged to use public transportation, leaving the cabbies with less work than usual for this time of year.

•  Winner: Women. This was the first Olympics in which every delegation included at least one female athlete. Saudi Arabia entered women, and the U.S. team had more women than men. The U.S. women won team golds in soccer, basketball, water polo, gymnastics, rowing eights and dominated at the pool and track. Claressa Shields, 17, won a gold in women’s boxing.

•  Loser: Badminton. Eight female badminton players — a pair from China, a pair from Indonesia, and two pairs from South Korea — were expelled for throwing matches in attempts to rig the draw. It tainted the entire competition and was a disgrace to the fans who paid big bucks for tickets to those matches.

•  Winner: Oscar Pistorius. The South African double-amputee didn’t win a medal, but he forever changed the perception of disabled athletes by running against able-bodied athletes.

•  Loser: U.S. boxing. U.S. boxers won 104 medals between 1904 and 2004, but they were held to one bronze in 2008 and were completely shut out here.

•  Winner: U.S. women’s soccer. The spunky U.S. women avenged their 2011 World Cup loss by beating Japan for the gold medal. A crowd of 80,000-plus was at Wembley for the occasion.

•  Loser: Brazil men’s soccer. Surely, the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic host nation is in panic mode after its soccer team — a preview of the 2014 team — was upended by Mexico in the gold-medal game. The five-time World Cup champions never have won an Olympics, and this was the one they were heavily favored to win.

•  Winner: U.S. women’s gymnastics. Not only did they win the team gold medal, but Gabby Douglas was the surprise winner of the all-around gold medal, becoming the first black woman to win. World champion Jordyn Wieber didn’t live up to expectations, failing to qualify for the all-around or win an individual event medal, but overall women’s gymnastics was a big winner.

•  Loser: U.S. men’s gymnastics. They came in with hopes of contending for the team gold medal and wound up fifth. Danell Lleyva of Homestead was brilliant on high bar to clinch the all-around bronze, but otherwise, the men didn’t meet their mark.

•  Winner: NBC. Heading into the final weekend, more than 210 million viewers had tuned into NBC for the Olympics, making it the second-most watched event in U.S. TV history. Only the Beijing Olympics had more with 215 million.

•  Loser: NBC viewers. Sports fans prefer to watch live competition, and NBC showed much of its coverage on four- and five-hour delay, including big events such as the Opening Ceremonies, gymnastics and swimming.

•  Winner: Twitter. Speaking of social media, these Olympics were dubbed The Twitter Games, as athletes and media tweeted results, news and photos in record numbers. There were 3.5 million Olympic-related tweets during the Opening Ceremonies alone, and more tweets each day than during the entire Beijing Olympics.

•  Loser: Not all the Tweets were harmless. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from the Olympic team in the first weekend after she posted a racist joke about Africans on Twitter. A 17-year-old twas arrested after he sent nasty and somewhat threatening tweets directed at British teen diver Tom Daley, writing: “You let your dad down, you let your country down.” Daley’s father died of cancer last year.

•  Biggest Winner: Great Britain. After much fretting over transportation, security, crowds, and weather, everything ran brilliantly. The historic venues made for breathtaking backdrops for 17 days of drama we won’t soon forget. And British athletes will be indelibly engrained in our memories — from heptathlete Jess Ennis to cyclist Chris Hoy to distance runner Mo Farah to tennis player Andy Murray, who finally won a title at Wimbledon. Well done. Now, keep calm and carry on.

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