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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Olympic Experience

I love the Olympics! But I'm so glad they're over because now I can have my life back. Being a devoted spectator takes a lot of discipline. You have to totally sacrifice all sorts of things like doing the dishes and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Also, it can get uncomfortable sitting on the couch all night long so you have to be sure to stretch.  I was worried that my Olympic dreams would be dashed this year because our TV does not get good (read: any) reception except for occasionally PBS. But Peter jerry-rigged the antenna and helped me realize my Olympic hopes.

I have been a life-long (at least as long as I can remember) Olympic fan. Gymnastics has always been my favorite. I grew up watching Shannon Miller. I can't believe that the last time the American women won gold was during that dramatic final in Atlanta in 1996. It seems like it was yesterday. For a few Olympics the gymnasts were my age (now they are far younger), which my dad commented on. Here are these 13 year old Olympians: "they're your age!" which begged the question, what in the heck was I doing with my life?

Gymnastics was exciting this year. However, like McKayla Maroney, we were not impressed with her second place finish on vault:




But we (okay, mostly I) were very excited about the Team USA gold!

Another name that I feel I grew up with is Michael Phelps. He's about my age but this was his fourth Olympics so I first heard of him before I'd even finished high school. It's hard not to be inspired by Michael Phelps. If you aren't at least a little impressed by him, I don't know what it would take to make it so. Maybe if he swam around the world and then came to your house and did the dishes? And then pulled all the weeds in your garden?

Despite his monumental physical accomplishments I was impressed by his humility. When he won his 19th medal, making him the most decorated Olympian ever, he thanked his relay team mates. That was  appropriate because he very literally could not have done it without them. Several of his medals were relay medals, which would have been impossible for him to win alone, obviously. But with all the self-aggrandizing common in sports, it would have been easy of him to diminish the role that other people have played in his success. His graciousness makes him a truly great Olympian.

I also appreciate how much he seems to love his mama! Because I know and am currently living the reality that no one gets very far in life, much less to the Olympics, without someone to wipe his (or her) bottom for the first few years.

John is too young to understand what the Olympics are, of course, but he was interested. Everyday he asked "watch yimpics?" And nearly every day we did. He liked the swimming and the running.

Here they are quite transfixed by the closing ceremonies :


Apparently John was overcome and reached for Isla's hand for support. I guess 80's music does that to some people. 

Looking forward to Rio 2016! 

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Your commentary on that last picture got me laughing so hard that I has tears in my eyes!