Sunday, February 28, 2010

The 21st Olympiad

Have you been following the Olympics over the past two weeks?

I sure have! Watched 'em almost every night during the prime time hours and if I didn't catch something then, what with my penchant for keeping really late hours, I often watched various events over again or caught up with some that I might have missed earlier.

If you watched them, I have another question for you?

Did you cry during any of the events or the awards ceremonies?

I sure as heck did -a lot!

I cried watching Apolo win in the first short race two weeks ago. I cried when Jen Heil, the Canadian skier didn't win the gold although I cheered like crazy when Hannah Kearney -the US skier did take the gold for that same event. But I cried again, watching them both on the podium as they received their medals then too.

Watching so many challenging types of sports -well, I suppose one should really say that they are all "Challenging" -wouldn't be in the Olympics if they weren't now would they? - but anyway, my heart was in my throat, about to explode from fear at times, especially watching the snowboarders -the one that Shawn White took the medal for. And those ski jumpers too or the aerials? WOW. How awesome that a person can do that -look like a bird in flight and land (much of the time) on their two feet too!

The figure skating confused me -more than once too -as I was of the impression that if a skater fell on the ice, it was an automatic out and yet, several skaters fell during those competitions and scored way higher than others who -to my very untrained eye -had performed a perfectly good program, as far as I could tell anyway.

But watching the other night when the Korean young woman won the gold, with the Japanese taking second and then, Joannie Rochette, getting the bronze -now that competition and the winners there, totally blew me away! Such poise and precision in their skating and also, on the podium too. One could really see the pride shining through in each of their eyes as they received their medals. And yes, again I cried -because I was so proud of each of them for being so talented and a little extra as well in sympathy for Ms. Rochette on the loss of her mother two days before her skate. What aplomb to be able to concentrate, to focus so completely on what she was there to do while inside, I'm sure her heart was aching terribly.

So many records set, broken too -so much excitement overall. I can't recall ever having been as caught up by the games as I was this year. Completely engrossed and enthralled by the whole thing, that was me!

I even got Maya to watch some of the events and that's when I learned that she could identify some of the participants by their flags or by the three letter abbreviation for some of the countries too. Now how did that happen, I wondered. Come to find out the past couple of weeks her kindergarten class was learning about flags, and identifying many countries by their flags and also, the abbreviations too. She seemed to be particularly interested in anyone she saw who had this somewhere on them "SUI" -which showed them to be from Switzerland.

Tonight, Kurtis began pointing to the little icon on the bottom left corner of the tv screen and asking "Aas 'sat?" Which translanted from Kurt's language means "What's that?" So it said "Vancouver Olympics" and because he is very much into the ecolalia aspect of autism, it only took my saying that to him two times, before he was then trying to imitate what I had said. Pretty soon I had him running to his mother, pointing to the tv screen and telling her "21st Olympiad!" You rock, Kurtis! Okay -his words weren't totally clear and plain but they were clear enough that you could make out what it was he was saying and that's all that was important to me!

Today and tonight, watching more races and awards ceremonies, I noticed that when the US team won the 4-man bobsled race and were on the podium, while the Star Spangled Banner played, the captain of the team -hand over his heart, head held high -also was fighting back tears too. Not that often you see a guy have that happen and that just endeared him that much more to me -for having taken the gold, yes but also for having overcome serious vision problems that a year ago, he thought he would never race again! And ya know, from having watched a short interview with him prior to the awards, I think too that his getting a bit teary-eyed also had something to do with the pride and patriotism he apparently had in his heart for this beautiful and wonderful country here -the good old USA!

Anyway -I cried right along with him too -for the reasons I listed above that I figured were his and they were mine too!

Tomorrow -okay today (since it is now past midnight) comes the really big competition though -the Granddaddy of 'em all, huh? The hockey match between the US and Canada for the gold medal.

I'll be rooting -as always -for the US to win, of course. But in the end, between the US and Canada -is there really that much difference between the status of a gold vs a silver medal after all is said and done?

Both teams -as well as all the others who participated in the hockey games -will all be winners in my book.

I can't wait now until my neighbor gets back home and hear his stories that I'm sure he'll have from having been in Vancouver, working at the games -as a bus driver, ferrying people from one event to another.

And how I wish I could have been in his shoes too although I probably had a better view of all the competitions than he would have had if he even had the opportunity to go and watch any of the events there in the first place.

Congratulations to every last competitor from every country who participated in this spectacular event.

Now, on to the 22nd Olympiad in 2014!


Maggie May said...

We are all proud of Amy Williams from Bath near here!
Thats as far as I got with the Olympics this time!
Don't think England did too well apart from that!

Nuts in May

Travis said...

I always get a little emotional too when I watch. For me, I think it's that so many of these athletes aren't very well known outside of their own countries or sports. Especially in the US because winter events just aren't that big for so many Americans.

I sure do enjoy them every four years though.

fermicat said...

I didn't watch any of the Olympics, but I have had lots of fun with some related websites -- mainly the funny ones that snark about the skating costumes and stuff like that.