27 July 2012

The Olympics & Me

The Olympics start tonight... and I've been sitting at work for about an hour, glued to Seventeen Magazine's Hot Olympic Guys (hey, John Isner.. bring that gold medal back to Athenzzz)
...reading about how the Olympics will ruin the sleep schedules of people all over the world, especially the Americans. Bless our hearts.
... and more interesting facts about the Games in Londontown. They're turning the Olympic Village into houses after all the athletes return to their home countries. I'm thinking I need to check on that as an option... post-grad.

Then, I started on a little walk down memory lane.

Like most Atlantans born before 1992, the Olympics were a big moment for the city. I won't say I remember a lot of it. I was about to go to kindergarten, there were bigger issues at hand. I remember watching a family friend carry the torch through some neighborhood in Atlanta and my parents buying me a stuffed Izzy doll. Unfortunately, my clearest memory of it all was the night of the bombing in the Olympic Park. My brother & his friends had been near the explosion and I remember their scared faces walking into our house late at night after a charred bench landed a few meters from where they were standing. Regardless, the Olympics were the best thing that ever happened to Atlanta. Other than Sherman's March. Kidding guys... The money, the facilities, the exposure! People all over the world were talking about Atlanta in the Summer of 1996.

Of course, we all got bricks.
Sydney in 2000 wasn't a big deal for me. I remember the Today Show giving all of us at home a tour of the Opera House, but that's about it. Same with Athens in 2004. But, then there was Beijing.

I watched the Opening Ceremony for months after the games ended. I'm still debating about buying it on Amazon. I teared up when Nastia won the Gold and had to step away from the TV with the Chinese took it overall. AND THE BIRD'S NEST. What a venue. I'm beginning to think Michael Phelps is a fish but in 2008, I was head over heels in love. I became the joke of the J-Crew (Wheeler's journalism staff) and I was even gifted with his Wheaties box by Wheatley.


I even got to interview an Olympic Gold Medal winner & Wheeler graduate, Reggie Witherspoon, a member of the Men's Track team in 2008. He came back for a basketball game that fall and he let me put on the Medal. I died.

2008 Clare. So young, so much to learn. But look at that medal.
Needless to say, I'm excited for London and tonight should be great. I've heard Peter Pan, Harry Potter, Paul McCartney, and a meadow will all be involved in the festivities at 9PM on NBC. Britain's medal count may be lower than other countries by the end of the games, but they're the real winners here. When the Games are gone, they'll still have Kate.

1 comment:

  1. At least Izzy is better looking than London's one-eyed whatever-he-is.
    Great post, Clare!