Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Olympics 2012

Summer Olympics 2012
OR
Weak in the knees Weak in the arms Weak all over

The Summer Olympics begin today and I am so excited to catch every minute (as much as possible).  I love that I can watch every moment on my HTC OneX or on the DVR or online and not have to be glued to the TV.  

Back in the day if you weren't in front of your TV when it happened you missed it.

Seeing Olga Korbut put her chin down on the balance beam while her feet where somehow inexplicably in front of her and then smile was a moment ingrained into my memory forever.  Seeing her walk away with the first 10 also was a moment I'll never forget.  Four years later Nadia Comaneci would take the stage and win all of our hearts. We cheered for this little Romanian girl and somehow the world just seemed to be a better place for a few minutes.

The following summer my Aunty (who is just one year older than I am) and I had the chance to go to summer camp together.  We had to choose between tennis camp and gymnastics camp.  With images of Nadia still bumping around in our brains, and the tune now known as "Nadia's theme" still playing on the radio, the option was clear.  We chose gymnastics camp.

Here's the thing: we were just gymnasts in our minds.  We loved the idea of flipping and vaulting and gliding gracefully along the balance beam and we thought going to "camp" would be super fun.  When we arrived there our image of "camp" was quickly dashed.  These other campers were all on competitive gymnastics teams and had been vaulting and flipping since they could walk - and maybe even before.  There were even a couple "Olympic Hopefuls" there.

But we were there and there was really no turning back.  We hopped. We jumped. At lunchtime we ate like cows.  We had fun.  

Then it happened.  The moment that has gone down in history just as Nadia's smile had a year before.  We were doing our thing, trying to keep up, but having no delusions of our abilities, when one of the coaches told the entire room (I mean gymnasium or whatever you call that torture palace) to stop everything and listen up.  The room went silent.  This had never happened all week long.  What was going to happen next.

In his obvious frustration he pointed to my Auntie (or was it to me - this point was sort of a blur - but he pointed at one of us) and said to the entire camp "I want you all to look at this.  This is a perfect example of a weak person -Weak in the knees, Weak in the arms, Weak aaaallllll over!"

Ok, maybe that is not exactly how it happened but that is how I remember it.  It seemed a little crushing at the moment but then we looked around and realized we could have been at tennis camp and it sort of made me laugh.

Weak in the knees, Weak in the arms, Weak all over has gone down in history between my Aunty and I as a defining moment.  For me, it was a very powerful moment.  My Aunty stood there being called weak but she was one of the strongest people I had ever met.  She still is mighty mighty and one of the strongest people I know today.  She is a Sr. Management leader in her company, manages a global team, and can speak fluent Japanese.  This man knew nothing about her and was calling her weak.  It was at that very moment that I knew that no one could really put us down.  We were both stronger than this coach would ever know.

This is why I love watching the Olympics.  It always reminds me of that one summer and the great times with my Olympic hero - my aunty.

2 comments:

  1. I love the Olympics. Just to think about the amount of dedication and relentless drive a person has to have to compete on this level. How exciting! I’ll be watching the Games at home since I’ll be at work when most of the events are aired. I’m going to be eager to see the US compete so I made sure that the PrimeTime Anytime feature is active on my Hopper so I can record it all on NBC. As for the other channels, the Hopper comes with three tuners which means that I can record multiple events at the same time and watch whenever I want. A Dish co-worker made the suggestion to upgrade a few months back and it has come to be really handy. I’m sure everyone has a happy or inspiring memory related to the Olympics. To me, it’s growing up and watching them every year with my great-grandma.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the athletics action of the 1992 Olympics. It is what inspired me to run.
    http://www.motravels.com/2012/07/my-olympics-scorecard.html

    ReplyDelete