Tonight marks the official start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. While some of the sports have already started, the opening ceremonies – which feature the march of all the nations participating and the lighting of the Olympic Torch – marks the start of two weeks of the world’s finest athletes competing for the gold medal and international recognition.
I will be honest, I usually am not a big fan of the Olympics, because I’m not really a big sports fan. However, even I can be excited about this year’s Olympics, which has been dubbed “The Year of the Woman.” Why? Well, according to this article on Yahoo! Sports:
For the first time, there are more women on the U.S. team than men, 269 to 261, and Russia’s team, which is nearly as big, is also majority-female. Saudi Arabia has sent its first two women to the competition, and the games feature what in all likelihood is the most pregnant athlete to compete in an Olympics: Malaysian shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, who is due to give birth to a girl any day now.
There are also several new events for women, such as women’s boxing and mixed doubles in tennis. Boxing was the last sport in the Olympics that was male only.
Unrelated to the athletic competition, it has also been announced that the Spice Girls, the 90s all-girl pop group from England, will be performing in the closing ceremony. Those familiar with their motto “Girl Power!” can see a connection between their performance and the female prevalence of this year’s games.
With so many incredible athletes, both women and men, competing this year, maybe I will find myself joining in with the rest of the world to cheer them on!
Will you be watching the Olympics? What is your favorite sport?