Sunday, February 26, 2006

OLYMPIC MEMORIES

I grew up in a family of skiiers and was downhill skiing almost before I could walk. My parents couldn't afford much but skiing was a priority. We'd eat our homemade lunches in the car, complete with a thermos full of hot chocolate. Leather laced boots that never kept your feet warm. Rope tows up the hill and racing down, sans poles, to sneak through to the front of the line because I was just so darn cute everyone let me pass.
My parents continued to ski into their 70s. My father is an incredibly elegant skiier. Nice memories.

So it's no surprise that the winter Olympics were a big deal in our home. Given our heritage, it was the Austrian and Canadian skiiers (like Nancy Greene) we were cheering on, but we also couldn't ignore the brilliance of a Jean-Claude Killy. We knew these names as well as others knew David Cassidy or Donny Osmond (ya, I'm showing my age).

As I got older and fell in love and had children, my world changed and I was barely aware of the Olympics, summer or winter.

I got pulled back into the Olympic fever when it was held in Atlanta because my love was an avid Olympics fan. And then there was Sydney in 2000. Sydney was his home and I had yet to go so between his passion for his city which was incredibly infectious, books he sent me about various Australian Olympians, and watching the footage of the city on t.v., the city I would later fall in love with in person, I was hooked again on the Olympics and have been ever since. He attended the closing ceremonies and I still have the pics he took of the smuggled-in enormous Canadian flag on the floor with the athletes. The Aussies loved the cheekiness of the Canucks for that.

We shared our enthusiasm through the Sydney, Salt Lake City and Athens Olympics. Yet another way to bond with someone too far away. I'm sorry we won't be able to share the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as we did all the others. We'd looked forward to it.

So the Torino Olympics have been bittersweet for me, mostly sweet. There were certainly some good moments and I'm soooooo impressed with how well our Canadian women did. And it was great seeing the flag turned over to Vancouver's mayor (he found it ironic that he, as he put it, the world's worst skiier - he became a quadriplegic at 19 due to a skiing accident - was the one accepting the flag for our 2010 winter Olympics) during the closing ceremony.

It's kinda sad to see the flame go out but I'm also somewhat glad it's over. Another trigger gone through fairly successfully.

And I'm still gonna wear my Sydney 2000 baseball cap when I go out walking in the rain.

Technorati Tags: Olympics, Sydney, Vancouver


2 Comments:

Blogger DrumsNWhistles said...

Maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but I found this Olympics to be lackluster (of course, it could've been the coverage, too...).

Four years ago I was jumping up and down for Sarah Hughes and rooting for the Canadian Ice Dancers who were ripped off. This year everything seemed sanitized. It's the first Olympics in recent memory where I've missed both the opening and closing ceremonies.

I'm glad it wasn't too painful for you to watch. I just wish it had been more interesting!

(ps -- as a native Californian, I view skiing as something OTHER folks do while I watch from in front of a nice warm fire....I tried it twice and then went back to the beach.)

DnW

12:39 AM  
Blogger SwampHag said...

You don't know what you're missing! :-)

Re this Olympics, I know what you mean. At first I thought it was just me and where I am in my life right now but it seems that many didn't find them all that enthralling. They still had their moments, but not like in years past.

Hopefully the next Olympics or two will be more interesting.

P.S. I was disappointed in this one's Opening Ceremonies. We've become very spoiled in how great recent ones have been and I didn't think these ones lived up to it. Closing ceremonies are always more casual and this one was pretty good.

11:50 PM  

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