Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympics of 2010!

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Photo taken in Vancouver, September ‘09

Growing up in a rural eastern state, my family didn’t watch television. We owned a TV, but had no cable and spent our time playing outside on tire swings and taking 20 mile bike rides. However, every two years for two weeks, the television would be on every night as the family gathered around to watch the Olympics.

I remember becoming particularly obsessed with Marion Jones and Picabo Street and enjoying the Olympic feeling that to this day pulses through me when it’s an Olympic year. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about the games but I get *so* excited when the Olympics come! There’s something so unique about athletes from around the globe, competing against each other in such a huge event. I was scrolling through Wiki while writing this post and ran across names I haven’t seen or heard in a long time—Shannon Miller, Tonya Harding, Dan Jansen, Michael Johnson, the girls of the “Magnificent Seven”, Andre Agassi, Tara Lipinski, Johnny Moseley, Chris Witty, Dara Torres, Sarah Hughes, Timothy Goebel, Carly Patterson… wonder what they are doing now?

There are many things I find so interesting about the Olympics- for one, the amount of athletes who one way or another, for various reasons, compete for nations other than where they are from. I love the stories of the athletes, hearing where they began and why they fell in love with their  sport.

On another note, can you imagine being the ONLY representative of your country in an Olympic games? One such athlete, Hong Kong’s Han Yueshuang caught a cold after a clothing mix-up at the Opening Ceremony. Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong missed qualifying for the 2006 Olympics because his plane was grounded in Amsterdam- he made it for the 2010 Olympics, though. Muhammad Abbas of Pakistan will be skiing in a race he’s probably dreamed of his whole life tomorrow morning. In the same race will be Samir Azzimani, a Moroccan athlete who brought eight schoolchildren from his home in France with him so they could experience Vancouver and the Olympics- how cool is that? I bet these athletes have amazing stories to tell.  :-)

These days, the Olympic-watching has changed. The DVR records the athletes and I watch when I have time. I’m not with my family and I communicate with my siblings, friends, coworkers and bloggers through Facebook, Twitter and email about the races and wins. We have discussed a few times the uncanny likeness snowboarder Shaun White has to a younger version of my mom and one of my uncles. Strange, but true.

Some things don’t change though- there are athletes I have taken a liking to (Bode Miller’s story is interesting, I was SO happy for Alexandre Bilodeau as he won Canada’s first gold on Canadian soil…) and I stay up WAY too late and am sleep deprived as I take in all of the events I love!

Are you watching the Olympics? Who are your favorite athletes this year?

5 comments:

  1. I agree. The athlete's stories and the stories of happenings at the Olympics are amazing. LOvely photos.

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  2. Bethany,
    When I was young, we used to be like your family, TV on for two weeks while my dad and I, mostly, watched. Then, when my kids were little we watched a lot, but my kids got obsessed and the people weren't always the best "role models" to idolize, and then our TV broke (a good thing) so we didn't watch TV anymore, and...now, my daughter Kelsey, 20, has been keeping up and we've watched, but not constantly. We haven't been able to. What we've watched has been very fun and exciting. I, too, like to hear the stories behind the athlete's. We would like to watch the women's figure skating, but have a couple coming to stay with us through Saturday, arriving tonight, and so we'll be busy probably. We have been watching what we've been missing on KARE-11 our local station, which has been wonderful! I'd almost rather do it that way sometimes, because then I do watch in my time, fitting it into my schedule, and I can skip the commercials, and competitors I'm not interested in. And I don't get so nervous for them, because I know who won! I get more sleep this way, too:)
    Blessings,
    Wendy

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  3. Tara Lipinski - that's a flash from the past; wondering how she managed to completely disappear from the scene --

    I've been staying up late nights watching too; completely worn out - and

    I'm thrilled about Bode Miller's medals - love him!

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  4. Well...I honestly haven't watched the Olympics at all this time!! Terrible, huh?

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  5. I love your profile, stories and pictures! They are awesome! We lived in the country when my sons were younge and couldn't get cable of satalite. That works out so well! They played 'togher' and are still very close! One of my many blessings with them.
    Thanks for following and am followin you back. Looking forward to reading more stories.
    Coreen

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)