Spain's Superb Summer Continues on The Champs-Élysées

Dan WadeSenior Analyst IJuly 27, 2008

Its been a whirlwind summer for the nation of Spain, and the biggest events are yet to come.

It started in June with Spain's decimation of the group stages at Euro 2008, their hard fought victory over a determined Italian side in the semifinals, and their final glory over the Germans in the finals.

Almost before the luster of that incredible tournament had faded, another Spanish hero claimed the spotlight.

Coming off his predicted win at the French Open, Spaniard Rafa Nadal took aim at the world's best in England. In what many call one of the very best tennis matches ever played on any surface, Nadal final overcame the reigning champion, Roger Federer, on Federer's court of choice at the tournament he had won the past five years.

Nadal may not have overtaken Federer in the world rankings, but he has narrowed the gap and there are rumblings that Wimbledon was a changing of the guard. With a good showing at the U.S. Open, Nadal may unseat Federer and claim the world's #1 ranking.

Spain's latest triumph came Sunday on the streets of Paris when Carlos Sastre, conqueror of Alpe d'Huez, won the Tour de France. He was not supposed to be able to keep the Yellow Jersey after the time trial, but Sastre rode the trial of his life to take a 65 second lead into the last stage.

If international sports produce momentum, then it is all with the Spaniards now. They have claimed three of the biggest crowns in sports already this summer, but the real test remains on the horizon: The Summer Olympics.

Since the hosted the 1992 summer games in Barcelona, when they finished 6th in the medal count, the Spanish have struggled in the games. They have finished above 20th just once and never in the top 10.

Can Spain's magical summer continue in China? Perhaps, but with the number of trophies in their pockets right now, the world will be gunning for them.