my next Olympic hero: Justin Spring
Yes, it’s true that Jonathan Horton’s rock-solid consistency was largely responsible for the U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Team achieving the Bronze medal on Monday (Tuesday), but I found myself most drawn to Justin Spring. I first noticed him a couple of months ago in the championships leading up to the Olympic Trials, and though his routines are not flawless, he has such exuberance that it doesn’t even matter what happens on the floor. He goes all-out, all the time, and he seems to find the joy in each and every situation, regardless of the outcome. In his contributions to the team’s winning Olympic performance, Justin managed to bring a level of passion and intensity that was contagious, and it was his huge smile and literal bounce that made him my hero for this Olympic Games. The whole team, in fact, will be etched in my mind for their grace and true joy at winning any medal at all. What a contrast to the U.S. Women’s team, whose own captain couldn’t remove her sour countenance when awarded the silver medal. The difference was striking, and embarrassing for this American. I am grateful that our men’s team was able to stand on the awards podium with true respect and honor while hearing another country’s anthem, and I hope the image of their genuine congratulations to China and Japan will erase the sullen images that the women put forth. All it takes is more Justin Springs in this world.