Written by: Lawrence Chen and Emily Yao
This summer, sophomore Francesca Macrae visited England with the initial intentions of visiting family. However, once the Olympics started, her family got caught up in the Olympic spirit. “Everyone was so happy and everyone seemed to be on one team and it brought people closer together,” Macrae said.
They ended up going to numerous events to cheer on Great Britain. “I went to the equestrian final and also saw the hockey and women’s basketball final,” Macrae said. “We watched team Great Britain win [the equestrian final] and the crowd went crazy.” According to Macrae, there is a significant difference between watching the Olympics at home and actually seeing them in person. “The atmosphere in the stadium is just indescribable,” she said.
Junior Monica Kibler was a spectator at the 2012 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials in San Jose, an experience she will never forget. “The excitement in the arena was incredible,” she said. “Everyone showed support for all the athletes, even those who did not meet their goals.” She particularly loved watching the men’s high bar and the women’s uneven bars at the trials. “The girls performing difficult tricks flew through the air so smoothly,” Kibler said. “It was an experience you definitely had to see in person.”
During the event, Kibler continued to root for Gabrielle Douglas and John Orozco because she wanted them to qualify for Olympics. “Although Orozco did not place in the Olympics, he did really well during trials,” she said. “Gymnasts do say the Olympic trials are a lot harder to compete in than the Olympics itself.”
Freshman Monica Boerger did not go to London, England herself, but instead watched the Olympic trials for gymnastics. The trials took place at the San Jose HP Pavilion from June 28 to July 1. Although she wasn’t a part of the events in London, the trials were just as intense. “It was really exciting and the crowd was packed with people,” Boerger said. “The crowd would get very quiet as the gymnasts performed, and when they stuck their routines, the crowd would applaud and cheer a lot.”
Boerger did not go solely for the thrill of watching the trials, she also went to learn from certain gymnasts. Some gymnasts included Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, and Aly Raisman. “I enjoyed being able to see what higher level gymnastics competitions are like and it was amazing watching them perform because [being a gymnast myself,] I understood the hard work that they put in to get to this point,” Boerger said. “It was also exciting to meet the gymnasts in person and see that they are all wonderful people.”