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August 1, 2012

Olympic Memories

I love the Olympics.

I love the nations coming together, setting aside political differences...the insight into the culture and history of the host country...the patriotism from all over the world.

I love the back stories of the athletes...I love the competition, watching men and women who have trained all their lives to compete on the world stage.

I love hearing our national anthem played as the US stands atop the podium.  And I love seeing smaller countries triumph over the big guys from time to time, too.

When an event happens only every four years, it seems like a mile marker of sorts.  I can look back four, eight, twelve...twenty-eight years...and remember what I was doing.

The 1984 games are the first Olympics I remember.  I emailed a friend today from my childhood, one whom I haven't seen in over ten years.  I just had to tell her I remember watching those games with her.  I spent the night at her house, my first ever time to spend the night with someone other than family, and we watched some of the track and field (I think), on a pile of blankets on the floor of her den.  I had a dentist appointment the following day.  [Random, I know!]

I remember watching Greg Louganis hit the diving board in the 1988 games, running in to ask my mom if he'd be OK.

I remember the Dream Team in 1992.

I vividly remember Atlanta in 1996, and the huge swell of national pride at hosting the Olympics again.  I remember the women's gymnastic team gold that year, and Kerri Strug's harrowing last vault.  (That one still brings tears to my eyes!)

The first Olympics of my "adult life" -- so to speak -- were in 2000.  I'd just started my first job in June of that year, and it was a stark realization that I wouldn't be home during the day to watch any of the coverage.  HA!

I remember the historical significance of the 2004 games, in Greece.

And, most recently, I remember the 2008 Olympics very, very well.  I was early in my pregnancy with the girls, maybe 8 or 10 weeks along, and I was SO tired.  I tried so hard to stay awake for the opening ceremonies, but I barely watched half of them.  Lucky for me, I couldn't sleep very long, so I was up super early and caught the full replay at the crack of dawn the next morning.

And I remember thinking then, during the next Olympics, I'd have 3 1/2-year olds. 

Wow.  How hard that concept was to grasp then.

And how hard it is to grasp now that, when the world's eyes are on Brazil in four years, my girls will be 7 1/2???

Our girls don't watch any TV, and Hubby and I generally watch very little.  I've shown the girls a bit of coverage here and there (although unfortunately the only sports on were archery and fencing when I turned on the TV!).  I have taped a little bit of swimming and gymnastics to show them.  I wonder if they'll remember it???

Time stands still for no one, and the Olympic march continues...whether we can grasp it, or not.

As always, we might as well enjoy the ride!

Go Team USA!!!


Marcia (123 blog) said...

Of course our whole little country has been celebrating our two golds! Even cold-hearted me nearly cried!

Cheryl Lage said...

I'm hooked as well...was realizing last night as I watched the gymnastics that I remembered (albeit in flashes) Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympics....and the horrible news flashes about the massacre of the Israeli athletes in that Munich Olympiad. (I was 7 at the time)

Then Nadia Comaneci in 1976....put a poster on my wall of that last impish pose of her floor routine.

The Olympics provide such a wondrous time to put aside international division and be happily competitive and appreciative of individual effort.

I love them too!
(You should link up your memories with Way Back When-esday today!)

Jill said...

I remember Mary Lou Retton, perfect 10, 1984.

Amanda said...

I too, love the olympics and have so many memories wrapped up in those historic games and look forward to making new Olympic memories with my kids!

Jenny Borders said...

you said "taped"

hahahahaha!! i love you so much!!!!

cat said...

Like Cheryl I remember Nadia Comaneci. And then years and years pf isolation in sport. As Marcia said our little country is on an Olympic high with our two golds, taking into account that at the last games we had one lonely silver.

Mandy said...

The girls got a bit of equestrian Tuesday morning and were enthralled! Literally over the moon and did not want to come in to eat their breakfast!! I heard about horses all morning so I pulled out some left over birthday steamer to act as a finish line and outside we went to race (imaginary) horses! Not quite the equestian show they saw, but they loved it none the less.

I'm trying to find other events for us to compete in. They're into "playing olympics" now-HA!

Mandy said...

Oh, and as for Olympic memories, I have few. I've always been more into reading the results. I do however always think of Hitler's 1936 broadcast, the first of it's kind. Should there be aliens scanning the airwaves, Hitler's voice screeching from the '36 olympics is what they'll pick-up! FANTASTIC! Earth should be safe...

championm2000 said...

I've never thought about time being marked by the Olympics, but as I read your post, I realize I can pinpoint similar life events tied to the games. It certainly gives a different perspective, doesn't it??

Barbara Manatee said...

We always tune in, too! Watching gymnastics and swimming as I catch up on blogs, in fact!! Jordyn Wieber is from Michigan, one of the neighboring small towns near where I grew up so she's been a BIG topic around here and Michael Phelps went to U of Mich, too...lots of big MI athletes!