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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

’Tis the season for gold

Published: September 13, 2012
Section: Opinions

The summer just ended, and it’s time to go back to the grindstone of classes and coffee. I can safely say that, in the small amount of time we’ve had classes, I’ve already begun to notice how little free time I’m going to have but would like to reminisce on summer.

To preface this epic tale, I just want to mention that two years ago my parents moved to London, U.K. Naturally, my “visit” to London to see my parents for two weeks, just so happened to be at the same time as the Olympic games.

Upon arriving at Heathrow Airport in London, and promptly napping in every intermittent location for six hours, I had become acclimated to the dreary and dark weather of London.

The schedule of games followed a pretty basic procedure; I attended one Olympic soccer game every two or three days for the duration of my two-week stay in London. The surprise of this schedule, however, was that the final game was the women’s soccer final. At this point, the thought crossed my mind that I might actually see the U.S. compete.

I learned soon after arriving, that the game was actually a double header. In other words, I got to see two qualifying-round games for the price of one. The only team of highlight was the U.K. team, who managed to clinch a victory at the very end against the UAE.

As we began to progress through the games, they began to get more intense and skillful. This was obviously due to the weeding process of a tournament, but the difference was black and white. The qualifying games, by comparison of even a quarterfinal game, were equivalent to the opening band for a concert.

The next game of serious note, which I had to say was incredibly impressive, was the semifinal game of Japan versus France. Both of the teams are well known for their women’s soccer leagues and I knew this was going to be a good game, right from the start.

With 95 percent confidence I can honestly say that the first 75 minutes of this game was some of the worst soccer I had ever seen. It seemed as though both teams had given-up on efforts of winning, and they hadn’t even really begun.

Once the 75th minute clocked in, however, both teams threw it into overdrive. There were injuries, fouls, cards and goals left and right. The game came down to a missed penalty kick by the French team, giving the Japanese the win. With that victory under their belt, Japan moved to the finals.

After the U.S. women’s team clinched the semifinal, I realized that I was going to see the U.S. play Japan for the gold medal. Not too shabby for a two-week visit home.

The final night of my trip would be capped-off with a fantastic soccer game. Our seats for this game were so close to the U.S. benches that we probably could have high-fived one of the players if it didn’t mean going to prison for life.

This game hosted 81,000 people, the highest attendance for any women’s soccer game in the Olympics. The game was intensely competitive and violent, even more so than the previous game I had seen. A few women had to be taken off the field in stretchers and the game ended with the U.S. grabbing the gold away from Japan.

Immediately following the game, the medal ceremony for the top three teams was set-up on the field. The teams promptly stood on the appropriate platform and received their medals. Canada received the bronze, followed by Japan with silver and the U.S. with gold.

So now you have seen the highlights of my summer. I know, it’s nothing too glamorous, but it’s just one way to live. Now that you’ve read this story, I hope this encourages you to travel and explore the world. If your explorations happen to coincide with the next Olympic games, there are worse things that can happen while traveling.