27 July 2012

The Olympics!

Is anyone else as excited as I am about the Olympics starting tonight?

I have a long history of love for the Olympic games, starting precisely 20 years ago.  It was then that I cheered on my favorite gymnasts Shannon Miller and Dominique Dawes at the Barcelona games.  I was 8 years old and living in Atlanta then, which had already gotten the bid for the 1996 games.  My mom bought me a little t-shirt with the Olympic rings on it that I wore proudly.  I may even still own that shirt.
And, oh, the 1996 games.  It still amazes me that I just lived in the right place at the right time.  Instead of taking a vacation that summer, we went to the Games!  My 12th birthday was the beginning of that summer, and I asked my mom to decorate my cake with the Olympic rings.  I got her to copy them perfectly, too--every over and under of interlocking was meticulously inspected by me to make sure they were right.  She even made black icing for that one ring, which is a feat in and of itself.  I can now spot phony rings from a mile away.

My mom also found us a way to volunteer our way into those games, due to our Girl Scout connection.  I got to volunteer at tennis, archery, and cycling.  The events we went to with tickets were gymnastics, women's basketball, the gold medal baseball game (RIP, Olympic baseball), and equestrian.  Some of my family from Florida came into town to join in the fun as well.  I remember getting up bright and early one morning and heading downtown to watch the men's marathoners run by, too!
Atlanta's mascot Izzy still remains my favorite!
Then after those Olympics were over, we went to the Paralympics!  Table tennis, volleyball, and have you ever seen someone swim with no legs?  I have, and they were way faster than I am.  I think the best part about the Paralympics was that we got to attend the closing ceremony.  I have very fond memories of the summer of 1996.
A phoenix named Blaze was the mascot of the 1996 Paralympics.
Perfect fit for both Atlanta and the paralympic athletes.
As for now, I had to explain to B how much I love the Olympics.  You would think he might have known that already, but in actuality, he was deployed during the last two Olympics.  That means the Games helped me cope with the crazy Navy lifestyle.  The Beijing ones fell right around the halfway mark of his first deployment, and the 2010 Winter Olympics started the day he left.  I went over to a friend's house to watch the opening ceremonies and was so caught up in the Games for a bit that I forgot to be sad about his leaving until two weeks later.  (Yeah, that is how to kick a deployment's butt!)

In case you were wondering about those funky London mascots . . .
So, what about you?  Are you excited for the Olympics or just indifferent?  My only bummer is that I won't be able to watch the Opening Ceremony tonight, as I was invited for a fun night out with friends (and no baby!) to see my friend perform in a musical.  I guess I'll catch it later, but starting tomorrow, my bum will be glued to the couch soaking in all of the amazing achievements of the best athletes in the world!


  1. I am so excited for the Olympics. When I was a kid, I was convinced one day I would be an Olympian! As for the London Olympics mascots, I think they are super funky and remind me of a Yo Gabba Gabba character lol

  2. I am ridiculously excited about the Olympics. I have been watching the games ever since I can remember. We stayed up super late last night watching the opening ceremonies too! We are DVRing everything that they show of the games too.
    Ps. That is so cool that you got to help with the 1996 Olympics!!