Now that the Olympics are over, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to watch on TV anymore (although the sheer number of times they showed the preview for that new show “Revolution” has almost convinced me to tune in when it premieres). For the past two weeks, I’ve been glued to the TV watching soccer, gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball, diving and basically whatever else NBC decided to broadcast in prime time. I’ve always loved the Olympics. I’m not ashamed to admit that NBC’s promo music makes me tear up (however embarrassing that might be), and I’ve had several Olympic dreams of my own through the years:
- When I was in 3rd grade, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, though that dream died quickly when I was the only one in gymnastics class who had to be spotted for a back handspring. I never was able to master that trick on my own;
- When I was in 7th grade, Mia Hamm and the 1999 Women’s World Cup Champion US Soccer Team made me want to play soccer at UNC and then at the Olympics and World Cup;
- And at various points throughout my skating career, I wanted to go to the Olympics in singles skating, pairs and ice dancing.
Perhaps my lack of ability to focus and choose one sport contributed to none of those Olympics dreams panning out. 😉 But I am still an obsessive fan of the Olympics, of the athletic feats and the triumphs of the human spirit that the Games bring us every two years. I love to watch it all: the games and events, the post-game interviews, the back story pieces that detail an athlete’s journey to the Games, even the P&G commercials with athletes thanking their moms (those are tear-jerkers!).
My love for the Olympic Games was born in 1996, when I was a 7-year-old astounded by the tricks and moves of the Magnificent Seven USA Gymnastics team, and most especially Kerri Strug’s courageous vault that helped earn the Olympic Gold for the team.
I’m pretty sure that team is what inspired me to sign up for that gymnastics class where I needed a spotter for those back handsprings. Cheering on the ’96 gymnasts is one of my most vivid memories from watching the Olympics. So when Bob Costas interviewed the Fab Five of the 2012 US Olympic Gymnastics team after their gold medal-winning performance, I was shocked to hear him say that some members of
the Fab Five weren’t even born in ’96, and the ones that were alive were too young to even have memories of that team.
And then I felt old.
Or maybe the adorable Fab Five is just young, which is probably the more logical conclusion…especially considering that being in your 20s is old for gymnastics!
But maybe it’s not too late to take up shooting, or one of those other seemingly random sports where age is less of a factor…Rio 2016, anybody? At the very least, I’ll be parked in front of my TV, cheering on the USA and all the athletes in Rio, and in Sochi, Russia in 2014 (Go US Figure Skating!). Just call me an Olympics junkie.