Team Europe looking up

For those of us with the random overseas sporting bent, it has been a summer — really, several years — of interesting developments in Europe.

First, the Spanish:

Alberto Contador, two victories in the Tour de France, although it’s hard to say how many he still has.

Fernando Gonzalez, two World Driving Championships in Formula 1.

Tennis? Fifteen of the world’s top 100 men’s players at one stage, 11 major championships by 2008 Olympic champ Rafael Nadal, including this year’s French.

Jose Maria Olazabal captains Europe’s Ryder Cup team in next week’s competition. And Sergio Garcia has found his game.

Then there’s England and, if you will, Team GB — Great Britain:

Astonishing major championship golf domination from Northern Ireland — Grame McDowell, Darren Clarke and the remarkable Rory McIlroy, who has won three of his last four starts, including the PGA Championship, going into this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Essentially half as many medals in the London Games as we rang up, with one-fifth to one-sixth the population.

Cycling world champion Mark Cavendish, the world’s most feared sprinter, and 2012 Tour de France winner and triple 2012 Olympics gold medalist Bradley Wiggins.

Former F1 world champ Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza Sunday.

And now the Scot, Andy Murray, winning the U.S. Open Monday with Sean Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands cheering.

Not too shabby.

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