A genuinely lovely Olympic moment
Source: NBC By Alan Abrahamson
BEIJING — This is, in a way that resonates time and again, what the Olympics is about.
Three American fencers went 1-2-3 Saturday in women’s sabre.
Mariel Zagunis won gold, Sada Jacobson silver, Becca Ward bronze, an affirmation of just how good the women’s sabre program had become in the United States.
Well, ok, I did. But in a sports culture dominated by football, baseball and basketball, it nevertheless remains an incredible affirmation of American ingenuity and resolve to see 1-2-3 in a sport that gets attention from the mainstream U.S. press only at the Olympics.
“We hope that any success we have goes to making our sport more popular,” Jacobson said. “If we can get even one girl to take up fencing, then we’ve done well.”
The results Saturday also underscore the enduring power and potential of the Olympic dream, and how that dream remains vital in the far reaches of the United States, in towns and cities and clubs that wouldn’t jump immediately to mind as Olympic hotbeds.
Zagunis and Ward are members of the same Oregon fencing club; Jacobson is from Dunwoody, Ga.
Zagunis won this event in 2004 in Athens as well, becoming then the first American to win fencing gold in more than a century. Jacobson won bronze in Athens.
These same three American women are seeded No. 1 in the sabre team competiton, on Thursday.
And of course such talk is sappy.
That’s the charm of the Olympics.
Zagunis said Saturday of repeating, “It was a dream come true. Seeing three American flags was just fantastic.”
To make matters that much better, former President George H.W. Bush was in the front row for the medal ceremony.
“It was amazing. It was emotional. It was such a dramatic moment,” the former president said, according to Associated Press.
He also said, “Fencing may not be a big sport in America. But today at the Olympics, it certainly is.”