I remember Cassius Clay, Rafer Johnson, Peggy Fleming, and Jean-Claude Killy.
I remember the two, male, African-American medal winners on the podium with fists in the air and their heads down.
I remember the massacre in Munich. I think I even watched the helicopter blow -up and saw the flash machine gun fire. Or it may have been the news reports.
I remember Mark Spitz, who, in comparison, didn’t look nearly as naked as Michael Phelps. Also Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Dorothy Hamill, and Bruce Jenner on the Wheatie box.
Then it was marriage, kids, PTA and Little League, changing jobs and moving a few times – life happens every day, not every four years.
So this year, I don’t know any of these athletes. Maybe I’ve heard the names, but in my sport, Ohno goes with Yoko.
The spins and throws on and above the ice and the Double McTwist 1260, something I thought was an extra large, chocolate and vanilla ice cream cone, I have to admit, are spectacular.
Some events are new to me – snowboarding and skeleton – who knew? Flying, twisting, turning, suspended in the air on a board – gees. Skeleton is kinda’ the opposite of luge – speeding down a track face down – OMG! And the luger who died this week – I pray he never knew.
Which brings me to my dilemma – I cannot watch this stuff. I cringe if someone takes a misstep; I jerk and spill my drink or choke on it when someone falls. My arms twitch and my shoulders rise up to hit my ears. My stomach clenches and my butt cheeks contract. It’s almost like my own little Olympic isometric exercise experience.
Okay – I will concede to Curling. You know – brooms, slow and low to the ice, serene and laid-back – if only they wore helmets and kneepads.
Curling. PERFECT sport. I love the magical spin and smiling faces . . . no cringing or butt-tightening there…just plain fun.