Here is what I learned from the Olympics that just finished, in no particular order:

If you think you can “smash” another team, keep that fact quiet until the deed is done.
Field hockey is a sport designed to train young girls in skirts to bend over, work sticks, and take occasional balls to the face.
Eight really is a lucky number.

Sixteen looks a whole lot younger than it used to.
All pole-vaulters are hot.

You don’t need media furor and praise to be a champion.

If you are loathed by your competitors, teammates and the audience, winning the gold medal doesn’t make you a champion. It just makes you someone loathed by your competitors, teammates and the audience, who won a gold medal.
NBA players become slightly more tolerable when they shut the hell up.

By the time you read this, those responsible for maintaining the soccer field have probably been liquidated.

Election advertisements are exponentially more irritating when they interrupt the Olympics.
The bronze medal sucks.
You don’t need to be an athlete to be an Olympic hero.
40 is not old.
You learn to hold things when you are six months old. For some people, it doesn’t take.
China knows an awful lot about fireworks.
In 2012, even if there is a 5k race where perfectly healthy people have to limp in a specified way or be disqualified, it still wouldn’t be the most ridiculous “sport” in the events.
Events that award medals entirely based on judging are fun to watch, but aren’t sports and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Photos from NBC, who gathered them from various sources (mostly Getty, AP and Reuters).