Serena's Olympic Love Affair
Published August 10, 2012 12:28
LONDON, England - Serena Williams' on-court commitments at London 2012 may be over, but the same cannot be said for her Olympic experience.
To say Williams has made the most of her two-week stay in the British capital would be an understatement. Since touching down on this side of the Pond, the American has lived, breathed and tweeted the Games.
And who can blame her? Since making her bow in Sydney 12 years ago, the Olympics has held a very special place in Williams' heart, bringing her five gold medals and countless memories.
Singles gold saw the 30-year-old become the first player ever to win all four Grand Slams and the Olympics in both singles and doubles, an achievement which dotted the I's and crossed the T's in modern tennis' most comprehensive of resumes.
"Oh, my gosh, this one is so high up there," Williams said after defeating Maria Sharapova in the final. "Being Olympic gold champion, being Golden Slam champion in singles and doubles, that's pretty awesome.
"I did something nobody's done. So I'm really excited about that."
However, a place in the history books has not been the only cause for excitement. Despite appearing in her third Olympics, the charms of being part of the world's greatest sporting event are certainly not wearing thin.
"I'm more in awe than before," she said. "This year, I don't know, but I'm just like 'This is the Olympics! What's going on?'
"I want to be a part of everything. I want to trade pins, go to the village, see other athletes, see other events."
True to her word, since stepping off the podium on Sunday, Williams has been the heart and soul of London 2012. Meetings the fans in the Olympic village, check. Hanging out with the all-conquering US basketball team, check. Watching the other Olympians in action in the Olympic Park, check.
So who has impressed Williams the most? How about fellow record breaker Michael Phelps?
"Twenty-one gold medals is outrageous. It's ridiculous. I don't know how you can achieve what he's achieved," she said. "It just doesn't seem possible. Sportsman of the century pretty much sums it up."
But while Phelps has been winning for fun in the pool, he lost out to another American as Williams' favorite Olympian.
"I'm obsessed with Gabby Douglas," Williams added. "She's gorgeous, she's amazing. She's so great at what she does. It couldn't happen to a better gymnast.
"She just makes it look so easy. I love her. I couldn't be more happy for her. Really, whew, it's amazing. I want my picture with her!"