5 Colored Rings

I love the Olympics!

I have loved the Olympics since I was a little girl.  I dreamed of one day being Dorothy Hamill.  At 5 years old I watched in awe as she glided on the ice in Austria and twirled and jumped so gracefully.  I wanted to be her.  I even had her bobbed haircut.  One problem…. “toe pick.”  Figure skating looks a lot easier on TV.  I could never get past the toe pick.  I have learned ice skating is much easier with hockey skates.  Unfortunately they didn’t have women’s hockey in 1976 – although I loved hockey back in those days too I don’t think I would have played hockey.  (I still have my Indianapolis Racer’s souvenir puck.)

I was still hopeful that my blundering “toe pick” issues would get better when the 1976 Summer Olympics started and Dorothy Hamill became a fading memory.  Nadia Comaneci replaced her in a heartbeat.  I wanted to become a Romanian gymnast.  I didn’t really understand the Cold War and communism back then and thought you could actually just sign up somewhere to become a Romanian gymnast.  If the “toe pick” was my downfall to ice skating flexibility and fear was my downfall in gymnastics.  I had (have)  the flexibility of a steel rod and it takes nerves of steel to stand on a piece of 4 inch wide wood 4 feet off the ground.

(Sigh…..) Sadly my dreams of ever being an olympian were dashed early in life, but my love of the Olympics remained.

I watched the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980 sitting at the kitchen bar with mom and grandma.  My love of ice skating and gymnastics never died and I watched all the greats:  Nancy Kerrigan, Kristi Yamaguci, Michelle Kwan, Tai Babalonia and Randy Gardner, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitono.  Then there are the gymnasts:  Nadia was replaced in 1984 with Mary Lou Retton, Tim Daggett, Bart Conner and Mitch Gaylord.  And since 1984 a steady stream of Shannon Miller’s, Carly Patterson’s and Shawn Johnson’s.

As I write this I remember embarssing things like when my mom bought a new Ford Escort and to show what a killer sound system it had (contain the laughter) it came with a cassette (it was the 80’s) of various symphony music.  The first song was trumpets playing the Olympic Fanfare and I used to play it and remember my Dorothy Hamill and Nadia Comaneci dreams.

And even though ice skating and gymnastics are my favorites…. I will sit and watch just about any Olympic sport there is.  And I love all the back stories about how this athlete had to do this or that to even be able to train.

Oh yeah and the Jamaican Bobsled Team!  I love that story!

I guess I’m a sucker for the Olympics like I’m a sucker for sappy chick flicks.  I love the dedication of the athletes and their stories of how they came to be great athletes.  I hate it when someone crashes or falls.  It’s one of the only times that the TV announcers and media don’t completely annoy me.  And I still watch and think to myself I could do that… my latest obsession is snowboarding.  (I can hear the snickering!)  Not really the half pipe  because I truly don’t see myself throwing a Backside 720 anytime soon (or ever) or even the snowboard-cross, I just think I’d do a lot better on a snowboard going down a mountain than on two skis.  I imagine I will end up settling for snow tubing – a safe and fun alternative for kids ages 3 and up.

If you see a 30 something twirling around an ice skating rink pretending to be Dorothy Hamill this winter, it’s probably me…. in my Boys size 4 1/2 hockey skates because I still can’t negotiate that damn toe pick.

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