Iconic Alabama football coach Bear Bryant was lauded for exhorting player to "act like they've been there before" when reaching the endzone. While this certainly was -- and remains -- fine advice for someone scoring one of the many touchdowns during a college football campaign, it's also a good thing that most Olympians don't adhere to it when celebrating a gold medal.
While the Olympians' feats of athleticism were the most captivating part of the Summer Games, their joyous reactions to success were among the most inspiring. Winning an Olympic medal represents the pinacle of a career for so many of the more than 10,000 athletes who competed in London. And many of them celebrated appropriately.
Take Serena Williams. She's a 14-time grand slam champion. But she had never won an Olympic singles gold medal until the London Games. She was so fired up she nearly jumped out of the stadium before she broke out a controversial dance. Bryant likely would not have approved of such a display but Williams' enthusiasm and exuberance were palpable and contagious.
Of course, Usain Bolt, in his own way, certainly did act like he had been to the top spot on the medal stand before, letting everyone know that he believes he is "the greatest athlete to live" during a historic performance in London.
What would the Olympics have been like without Bolt's post-race posturing and fan interactions or Mo Farah's ebullient explosions across the finish line as he pulled off both halves of the distance double? For starters, the Games would likely have been far less fun. When Farah crossed the finish line in first place in both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races, there's just no way there was anyone else on Earth happier than him. His face said it all.
Here are some of the most joyous reactions by gold medalists during the London Olympics:
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more