In the summer of 1992, I was 11 years old and on the swim team. I think I placed in a meet one time the entire summer. Simultaneously, across the world the summer Olympics was occurring in Barcelona. I remember a few things about that summer but mostly that it was the first summer that both my cousin, my sister and myself were allowed to be dropped off at swim practice and then left at the pool for the rest of the day. My summer of 1992 revolved around two things; what color slushie I would get in the teen room and who I would be that day in the pool. Because for around eight hours straight, we pretended over and over again that we were Summer Saunders and Janet Evans. We were all obsessed with the swimmers on the American team. That is my earliest Olympic memory.
Twenty years later, not much has changed. I am still a terrible swimmer and for 16 nights in a row, I have been glued to NBC. Bert and I will even proclaim that we should take a night off, that we're tired of watching. Then find ourselves crawling to bed long after midnight and all the commentary has taken place. I usually get a lot accomplished in August from a project/reading/house chores perspective because summer has sort of ended without school year stuff starting up for us yet. Combine that with lousy TV and I'm usually pretty productive. Sans this year. We have DVRed, let Loulie stay up too late watching and even tuned into Today a few mornings to see favorite athletes' interviews. Several mornings upon waking, the first words out of Loulie's mouth have been, "Did Gabby get the medal last night?"
So like 20 years ago, we have spent hours pretending to be Gabby and McKayla, Missy and Michael, Sanya and Allyson. It has been a welcome distraction and a inspiration. I mean, how can you look at those bodies and not want to hit the gym?! I've said "On your mark, get set, go!" more than I ever wanted to and Loulie's favorite new line is "Stick It!"
What's strange is that I have no memory of really watching the winter Olympics while I can't believe we have to wait FOUR years for Rio! Is there anyone out there opposite? Maybe because I grew up in the south with warm southern sports. I don't know.
But this year has been especially good. From the athlete's personal stories to the cut throat competition, it is truly the best reality show ever!
More than anything, I love seeing each country represented--the different colors and shapes and features all in one arena, celebrating together. It is like a very small glimpse of heaven.
I could go on and on but it is already way past midnight. Last night of one a.m. bedtimes!
- I would be completely fine if Loulie grew up to have the character and demeanor of Missy Franklin.
- I think Bert has a small crush on Allison Felix. If he said it once, he said it 100 times--"she's cute."
- The P & G commercials--killing me!
- Gabby for Pres! That precious, humble heart was so inspiring.
- Why did the Russian gymnasts always look so scared?
- Did you get choked up every time they played Phillip Phillips's song? Me too.
- I want one of those gray jackets. Bert said they are running around $450 right now so I guess no.
- I'll miss you Debbie Phelps--you crack me up.
What am I supposed to do at night now?--I guess get on that to do list. Cheers to Today's follow up coverage all week! At least I'm not going cold turkey.