Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Fever!

I have always been an Olympic nut. I have so many memories of watching the events every four years (I am still not entirely happy about the switch to the every two years' rotation of winter and summer. I know it makes the Olympics come more often, but there is something magical about having all the events happening in one calendar year ...) and I measure some portions of my life based on the Olympics. For example, I know I was living in Norway during the Games as I remember being in a pretty high-powered business meeting one day and noticed everyone getting slightly fidgety until the man running the meeting said, as he pulled a television set into the conference room, "I hope no one minds if we stop our meeting to watch 'our girls.'" The Norwegian women's cross-country ski relay team was favored to win the gold, and the entire country stopped everything - including big, important business meetings - to watch. And they did win the gold.

Then there was the summer games 12 years ago when Ben was a toddler. He and I and my mom sat down in the family room watching gymnastics, and every time a gymnast finished a routine, you know the stance - feet planted firmly together, back arched, arms triumphantly in the air - well, little 18 month old Ben would do that, too!

So I am thrilled to be watching the games again this week. And this year will be remembered forever as the time the Olympics were in the place my friends just moved to, and because I have a "3-degree" link to the star gymnast of the year, Shawn Johnson.

1. I am friends with another Shawn Johnson, a resident of Bloomington

2. My Shawn Johnson is married to Patrick Johnson.

3. Patrick Johnson is gymnast Shawn Johnson's first cousin.

So that makes me PRACTICALLY family, and I feel the closeness every time I see her perform!

And then last night I was whooping in my bedroom, after just having said good night to the boys (and they came running to my room to see what was happening) as the men's 100m freestyle swimming relay happened. If you missed it, it's worth finding somewhere online to watch. The announcers were saying, before the race started, that the Americans would win the silver in this event, as there was just no way they could pull off a win over the French team, the favorites to win. The French team was quoted as saying "We're going to SMASH the Americans - it's what we came here to do!" And ... yes, the magic of the Olympic Spirit came through, and the silver underdogs came from behind in a truly yell-at-your-tv kind of moment, and with 8/100 of one second to spare, the American team won.

THIS is why I love the Olympics.

1 comment:

shawn said...

Well, from this Shawn Johnson, I am glad that you are enjoying the Olympics! I cring every time I see her perform! I just hope she doesn't get hurt!! AND, I whoop when the American's win too!!!

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