I am a devout follower of the Olympic Games. Always have been, since I was just a little girl.
I remember being six years old and my mom calling me in to watch the opening ceremonies for the summer Olympics in Spain. I remember being eight years old and my mom calling me in to watch those beautiful, graceful figure skaters glide around the ice in the 1994 winter Olympics, and witnessing the whole mess between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I can vividly recall cheering on the USA volleyball team from the locker room with my own Freshman volleyball team, thinking, “I will never have a desire to go that far with this horrendous sport, where girls slap each others’ bums, and all my teammates are so vicious to me.” But I still loved watching it. I cheered on the “Thorpedo” in Sydney, thinking that Australian men were amazingly intriguing. And oh, how I cheered on those Hamm twins [oh, mercy, those Hamm twins!] take the world by surprise. I watched that young little figure skater–what was her name? Oh yeah, Sasha Cohen–surpass like a million world records at the age of 14, and thinking, “If only I lived in a place that actually created ice, I too, could have been a figure skating prodigy.”
So many dreams crushed, watching the Olympics throughout my lifetime. And yet, I really, really enjoy watching the Olympics. I find myself staying up later than normal, convincing myself to watch “just one more event.” I don’t want to sleep, because I don’t want to miss a single life-changing moment in history (that’s a value my mom instilled in me–she was always making me stay up late for the State of the Union address, or wake up early to watch the crumbling of the World Trade Center [and now I’m so glad she did]).
Poor Kyle thinks it’s all ridiculous, of course. The beauty of this year’s Opening Ceremony was totally lost on him. (He’s virtually culture-less, but I sure love him.) He mocked all the red fireworks China ignited, noting that they’re probably trying to brainwash the world into accepting Communism, sending all these red “subliminal messages.”
In his defense, he’s stayed with me in the dungeon basement for four hours already, and with Kyle Shewfelt’s events two hours away, it looks like we’re in this for a bit longer yet.
Do you care about the games? What spectacular moments in Olympic history do you recall witnessing? I’m abnormally obsessed with knowing what people have seen in their lifetimes. Please, pipe in!