I love the Olympics. I become slightly (read: completely) obsessed with it and watch hours upon hours, lose a lot of sleep and my exercise routine suffers (ironic, isn’t it?). I get sucked into all the back stories of the athletes, and I also become an expert in everything from synchronized swimming to archery to canoeing. But my favorites are track and swimming. I ran the 100M, 200M and 4x100M in high school and nothing gives me the chills like watching the world’s fastest men and women in the sprints. I still feel the rush of adrenaline when they are loading into their blocks and my heart skips a beat when they do the relay exchanges. I have both love and admiration for Usain Bolt. When we were in Jamaica in May, I was freaking out when we drove past his high school, and kept my eyes peeled to find him somewhere on the island. It made my heart smile when he fist bumped his gear attendant before the 200M finals and the guy could not stop smiling
The summer Olympics are my favorite because of the time of year and the events. Because it is my favorite, I have so many fantastic memories of the various Olympics. I remember seeing the hologram of Freddy Mercury singing “Barcelona” during the ’92 games. The way I was feeling in ’96 getting ready to start high school, watching with my college roommate freshman year only a week or so after we have moved in together. In ’04 watching Athens with my new roommate, my fiancé who I was going to marry 8 months later. Cheering on Michael Phelps with an entire bar as he won his eighth gold medal at one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties. And then crying at the end of those ’08 games because I didn’t think that I would ever experience the extreme elation I had felt (Phelps and his medals, Bolt and his records). And knowing that the next time the Olympics were going to roll around, we would probably have a totally different life with a possible child and/or new house and who knew what kind of job.
And man has life changed, but the Olympics have not failed to excite or surprise me. When I think back to ’08, I can see why I was fearful of the changes I was facing. But I couldn’t be happier now. With the close of the games in less than 12 hours, I won’t cry this year. Yes, I will miss the games and will be stoked for the next Olympics, but it’s not as scary this time. I will look forward to Rio in 4 years and I can’t wait to see what is ahead of me in 2016.
Bye, Bye London, it’s been bloody brilliant.