Can the 'Superman' bounce back?
By Buster Laing
Special to FN
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering, but fighting well." Baron Pierre de Coubertin, considered the father of the modern Olympic Games.
Here are The Bahamas Top 10 Most Memorable Moments of the 2012 Olympics, including the thrill of victory; the record breaking wins, the agony of defeat and battles over immense adversity and controversy.
There were many memorable moments at the London Olympics, some heartbreaking and some baffling.
The Bahamas and the world focused on Team Bahamas' historic gold medal win in the men's 4 x400m relay during the 2012 Olympics, but there were many highlights and low-lights for The Bahamas on the world's biggest stage.
Individual competitors had varying success, and some underdogs came through to shock the world, like the "Golden Boys" and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, which made for great stories, but some favorites struggled to live up to expectations and some of the hopeful special moments never materialized.
At the Olympics, pressure was enormous for several countries, teams and individuals.
They were expected to bring home at least gold or be considered somewhat of a failure like the World Cup powerhouse Spain's soccer team, who were forced out of the tournament in group play, so they went home earlier than expected; then Brazil lost to Mexico in the gold medal game 1-0 and refused to accept the silver medal.
With the London Olympics now in the books, it is time to determine some of the heartbreaking moments for team Bahamas.
7. SUPERMAN GROUNDED IN THE TRIPLE JUMP
A day before the deafening roar of The Bahamas, at the Olympic Stadium after Ramon Miller and the 4 x 400 meter team shocked The United States and the World, there was an eerie silence in the triple jump pit after "Superman' Leevan Sands, who was sitting in fourth place in the men's triple jump final on his fourth attempt, knees buckled awkwardly as he went through his jump and he was left sitting in the pit grasping his left knee.
The Olympic medical staff came over quickly, assessed his injury and carried him off on an orange stretcher.
The "Superman" was not able to bounce back and was removed from the competition, finishing in fifth place after winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and was a medal contender at this year's games.
"When I saw it happen, it was like a dream just come to an end. I thought that his leg was broken at one point...I told him he will be all right, because they have some good doctors over here," said his father Leevan Sands Sr. in an interview with a local paper.
"But I think he will have to do surgery because something separated in the knee area. I know him. He wanted it for the Bahamian people.
"He felt that he let the Bahamian people down, but I told him he will always be their hero."
On Saturday, Sands had a successful surgery to repair his patellae tendinitis, or what is commonly called 'Jumper's Knee." Sands will now undergo light therapy.
Sands, was expected to leave the hospital on Wednesday and return to his home in Auburn to begin his general rehabilitation.
"I feel good. I'm just disappointed that I didn't get the medal. But I love my country and I always go to war and battle for them," Sands said in a local paper.
"I know it was down to me and I love the pressure. I know I was getting a medal. Everyone was depending on me. I was ready. I was ready to go for the medal, even though I had the pain with the tendinitis. That wasn't going to stop me. Once I'm able to run down the runway, with pain, I'm still going to jump.
"I'm just determined like that. I always tell myself: 'I will jump until my leg breaks for The Bahamas.
"That's what I did. I fought, but the knee gave away. I told them to patch me up and put me back on the runway.
"But I'm excited and I thank God that I still came fifth with only three jumps. Fifth best in the world. I can't complain. I'm just happy that my family was here."
On that fateful Thursday, it actually showed that Superman was actually human and was not able to bounce back to finish competing in the triple jump.
"I have no doubt in my mind that I will bounce back," he said.
"I'm just glad that it's over."
If anyone is able to bounce back and "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." it would be the "Superman" of The Bahamas: Leevan Sands.
© 2012 The Freeport News