The 2012 Summer Olympic Games came to a close several days ago, but the highlights (Spice Girls, anyone?) will live on in our minds. Of course, some moments break away from the pack, rejuvenate your faith in humanity, and confirm the blue and gold streaming through your arteries. What was the best Calympic moment this summer? Recaps are after the jump, so vote for your favorite moment below!
Swimmers typically wear two caps during a race – the outside one covers the straps of their goggles and makes them more streamlined. In Vollmer’s case, this makes her performance more jaw-dropping than it already was. What got her the gold medal and the world record was her turn after 50 meters – she hit the wall in third but emerged from her 15-meter underwater dolphin kick section in the lead. Then she cruised to the final wall and won by almost a second.
It can't be easy, watching from the stands as other swimmers put the finishing touch on your Olympic career. But that was the role Natalie Coughlin had to play Saturday night after she was left off the 4x100 free relay final despite turning in the fastest U.S. split in the morning preliminaries, a decision head women's coach Teri McKeever, who has been Coughlin's personal coach for the last 12 years, says was the hardest she has had to make as national team coach. As teammates Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt came in third, behind Australia and the Netherlands, in an American record of 3:34.24, Coughlin, a three-time Olympian and team captain, stayed in the stands and cheered.
For now, there will be no more discussions of the ugly past. Only memories of a joyous night in London. After the match ended, all the Americans -- and the coaches -- jumped into the pool. They hugged, they high-fived, they fist-pumped. And then they gathered in a circle and started kicking and slapping the water to make it splash all around.
Tell us why you made your choice in the comments. GO BEARS!