Olympic Medal Tally 2012: Kirani James Wins Gold for Grenada's First Medal

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Olympic Medal Tally 2012: Kirani James Wins Gold for Grenada's First Medal
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Last night, Kirani James of Grenada truly exemplified what the Olympics stand for.

Preparing at the starting blocks, James was well aware of the stakes facing his 400-meter dash. The favorite after winning gold at the 2011 World Championships, he was looking to win the first Olympic medal for his tiny island nation.

As a sprinter from a small Caribbean Island, James has constantly been overshadowed by more featured sprinters like Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

As James went down the home stretch for gold, though, a moment of pure exuberance was seen. When coverage went to a room full of Grenada enthusiasts cheering James on, it was a reminder of how important the Games can be for some.

In the United States, we often grow too accustomed to winning. I'm not complaining about the number of medals America has won, but I am pointing out that we may never cherish one particular gold as much as James and Grenada did last night.

It was the first medal for a nation...ever! That is a pretty rare achievement these days, based partly off there being few opportunities.

James seized the moment, though, and made his entire nation of Grenada proud.

Finishing with a time of 43.94 seconds, which doubled as a personal best, James took his victory lap around the stadium with his nation's flag draped over his shoulders.

A truly pure sports moment, James is immortal in Grenada, as no one forgets their first.


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