exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

olympic fever

by Jen at 7:24 pm on 10.02.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: mutterings and musings, this sporting life

i *love* the olympics. lovelovelove the olympics.

i love the pomp and circumstance. i love the cheesy opening ceremonies. i love the goofy sports that no one watches, like curling and biathalon. i love the underdogs. i love the stories of personal trial and triumph. it just stirs me.

i remember the los angeles olympics and mary lou retton’s perfect 10 vault (when I was still in gymnastics myself), and i think that’s what hooked me. i remember greg louganis smashing his head open on the diving board and coming back to win. i remember watching carl lewis and michael johnson. i remember kerry strug being carried out by bela karolyi. i remember dan jansen trying to skate the evening of his sister’s death. i remember michele kwan’s stunning loss, and the nancy and tonya drama. i remember zola budd and mary decker. eddie “the eagle” ski jumping, and the jamaican bobsled team. flo-jo. the u.s. women’s soccer win. derek redmond, who fell during his race and whose dad came out of the stands to help him walk to the finish. the american swim team beating the aussies in the relay. muhammed ali lighting the torch.

i know – i’m cheesy and schmaltzy and soppily sentimental. but i love them. i have been known to call in sick to work to stay home and watch them. getting to see them in person is on my list of things to do before i die. it absolutely thrilled me when they put the winter and summer games on opposite years, because i no longer had to wait so long between events. i get more choked up at the olympic theme song than i do at my national anthem. i’ve been moved to tears and profoundly proud within the same event.

i love it so much, not only because i love sports and drama, but because for me it’s a symbol of everything i still believe in about this world. what i choose to believe, in spite of scandal and war and grave injustice. namely this: that you can strive mightly for something good in the face of all obstacles, and achieve your pinnacle moment of self-realisation, your personal triumph that makes all the sacrifice and blood/sweat/tears worthwhile. and you do it not for riches or fame, but because you want to prove to yourself that you can. to my mind, there is nothing purer than that.

and now, i’m off to watch the opening ceremonies… let the games begin!

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  • 1

    Comment by whylime

    11.02.2006 @ 19:25 pm

    I am SUCH a sucker for the olympics. I love the heartbreak, the competition, the stories. I personally identify with the athletes waaaaaay too much. I was also in gymnastics for the ‘84 olympics, and so wanted to be (1) Nadia Comanici and (2) Mary Lou Retton. (Mary Lou wasn’t edgy enough for me then…). I have been known to cry tears of joy when the good guys win. See you in Torino!

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    12.02.2006 @ 00:27 am

    oh I KNOW!!! Isn’t it *wonderful*!!

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