This past February, during the Winter Olympics, we wanted to get a daily paper. This is one of those RARE times I wish we had TV but it's not important enough to go that route. Anyway, after several days of struggling to find quarters, forgetting to go out to get one until after dark, etc., my brilliant husband suggested we sign up for a subscription to the daily newspaper. Don't know why I didn't think of that sooner (yes, I do ... Carmen had a bad cold for three weeks in Feb., I was distracted.) So, when I called the local paper distributor, the lady said we could have a two-week subscription for free, then decide if we wanted to commit to a subscription. Wow! I was so happy! It was so nice to get the paper from the driveway and check up on the Olympics. Chad and I began a daily discussion on what we'd read in the paper. It has been a great addition to his education. Unfortunately, I hate all the bad stuff they print. We kept receiving daily papers, even after the two free weeks were up. I gave them a call and she said that they'd had extra papers for some reason so they just kept delivering! Sounds good to me! However, I did decide to subscribe for weekend delivery. Daily was just too much information and now that the Olympics are over, the sports have gone back to highlighting the latest bad boy in basketball/baseball/name-that-sport. It's pathetic (my opinion).
My mom did tape the Olympics for us and we received 9 video tapes last week. It's always a little strange to view the Olympics weeks after they happened. Like a time warp. When we were watching the Opening Ceremonies, the tape made it as far as Wayne Gretzky getting a little nervous when the flame ceremony didn't go as planned. Then the tape stopped. Bummer. But that's the way it is when you rely on Grandma to tape the games for us. She doesn't watch them, just sets the tape and lets it go. I find it amusing. I remember the Salt Lake City games, they were just about to hand over the torch to the final runner (a secret) and the tape stopped. We all shouted, "No!" Of course, I never, ever tell my Mom. I'm just grateful she takes the time to do this for us.
Don't get me started on those infernal commercials. I am so anti-commercial. I hate them. Hate them! It's a good thing fast-forward exists.
When we first heard the Games were going to be held in Vancouver, BC, I was really hoping we'd be able to go. I mean, it's just a few hours north! Closer than Salt Lake City. Years ago, when the Summer Olympics were in Los Angeles, I was living about 45 minutes away from most of the venues but wasn't able to attend any events. A girlfriend and I did go downtown and drove around to see all the Olympics sites, taking photos of each other in front of the Coliseum, etc. Being there and really "being there" aren't the same thing.
As it was, there was no way, for various reasons, that we would have been able to go this year. Oh, well.
Looking back, I suppose the Olympics were ingrained in me as a young child. Mark Spitz was so important in our home. If you don't remember who he was, you probably don't care. But my sister had a life-sized poster of him on our bedroom wall, wearing nothing but his speedo and his seven gold medals. Having that imposing figure staring down at you every day must have made an impression (be it good or bad). And, believe it or not, years later when I was working as a typesetter in Huntington Beach, California, someone from the business next door came running over to tell us that Mark Spitz was in their office! We all ran to the window and I was just in time to see his elbow as he was leaving. His elbow! Imagine that!
We weren't a sports family but the Olympics were important. And still are, I suppose. For me, the inspiration and interest is not just in a particular sport or athlete but the coming together of so many nations for a single purpose. If only our entire world could unite in peace, for even two weeks. What an impact that could make!