I did finally watch the final episode of Sherlock S3, but I’m going to wait a few days to talk about it because …
I love the Olympics. My parents, living in the foothills of the Adirondacks, went to Lake Placid during the 1980 Winter Games. They couldn’t afford tickets to any of the events, but they said even just walking around downtown, sharing in the Olympic spirit, was amazing. So it’s only natural that I grew up loving everything about the Olympics, as well. I even love the Summer Olympics, but the Winter Olympics are unquestionably my favorite. When I was a kid, I cared about the figure skating and not much else, but now I love it all. Even curling.
I have some pretty awesome memories tied up around the Winter Olympics, too. Like being a flag bearer for the Torch Relay in Lake Placid before the 2002 Olympics. Getting to watch Jack Shea run in with the torch, surrounded by the women’s hockey team, standing there holding the Olympic flag across from my best friend holding the American flag … wow. One of the most awesome moments of my life.
(No pictures from that, sadly. We weren’t allowed to use cameras while we were carrying the flags.)
Then there’s all the pre-Olympic competitions, games, and races I’ve volunteered at over the years (again, growing up an hour away from Lake Placid had some fabulous perks). I never got to shake Jimmy Shea’s hand, but I’ve cleaned his shoes, how many people can say that?!
(If you watch the start of a skeleton event, you’ll see someone at the top run a stiff brush over the bottom of each slider’s cleats right before they go down, to make sure there’s no stray pieces of dirt caught. That was my job at one competition, and I was simultaneously elated at the responsibility and terrified I’d mess up and ruin someone’s run. Thankfully, everything went well!)
I’ve met and mingled with winter athletes from all over the world, serving them in one way or another. There’s a special bond between volunteers and athletes; neither of us would be there without the other. We were always so thrilled just to be able to participate in the event, and they were (almost always) so appreciative of our efforts (some were jerks, but honestly, most were genuinely nice people). Those years in Lake Placid were where I learned to love the sliding sports.
I want to go down a run on a skeleton sled at least once in my life. It looks like the biggest rush I can imagine.
I love the spirit of the Olympics, really. The spectacle of people coming together from all around the world, to celebrate the triumph of human spirit and endeavor over every obstacle and difficulty. I’m not a big sports fan in general, but the Olympics are so much more than sport.
I’m cheering for all the athletes, but most especially Noelle Pikus-Pace in women’s skeleton, the Night Train crew in men’s 4-man bobsled, Team USA in both women’s and men’s hockey, and Meryl Davis & Charlie White in ice dance.
Who are some of your favorites, and what do the Olympics mean to you?