I love the Olympics. I am not a sports person, not by any stretch of the imagination. I only attend Superbowl parties for the food, I only attend baseball games for the beer. I was a swimmer…I love the sport, but I still rarely attend a meet. If, someday, my kids decide to float instead of sink, I may watch them race, but until then, I don’t even do swim meets.
I’m not sure them why I so love the Olympics. I was telling Andrew last night that the first Olympics I remember was the 1984 Summer games in Los Angeles. I was a California girl, and even though SF is a long way from LA, those Olympics seemed close to home. I remember watching the gymnasts (who were not that much older than me at the time) and wishing that my legs were not so long and gangly and that I had the balance and coordination (I still don’t) to compete is such a beautiful sport. Alas, my clumsiness and fear of heights kept me from being a gymnast…or a diver, another favorite sport to watch.
Fast forward to the Atlanta games in 1996. I was THERE. I was poor and had a brand new baby. So I never attended a single event (though I often kick myself for that!). We did attend the Centennial Olympic park the afternoon before the infamous bombing. The excitement at that place was absolutely electric. It was a people watcher’s dream. It was extremely hot. We were literally pouring water on Andrew who was about a month old. He too can say that he was there…though he remembers nothing.
So, I love watching opening ceremonies. I love watching the excitement on the athletes faces, especially on the faces of those who know that they don’t stand a chance of even contending for a medal…but they are glad that they are there. They are participating in a once in a lifetime event, and the world is watching.
I must admit, I love the Olympics for the chance to learn about other places and cultures, and to hear the interesting human interest stories. So, my DVR is running, and I am watching.
My favorite event of today? Watching the womens’ fencing medal sweep, hearing our national anthem, watching three American flags raised high, and watching President George H.W. Bush looking on with pride.
God Bless America!