Friday Five: Olympic Fever

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

I love the Olympics—who doesn’t? For this not-so-coordinated, non-athletic girl, it’s the stuff of dreams. Because in my dreams is the only place I’d be able to do anything close to what they do on a daily basis. As a musician, I can relate to the pressure, the diligence and practice, the sacrifices each of these athletes has made, the sacrifices their families have made…etc, etc. etc. So much rides on these games, and the whole world is literally watching.

My earliest Olympic memories have to be of Katerina Witt skating her heart out in 1988’s Calgary games. There are so many incredible moments to remember, but also a lot of cringe-worthy ones…most notably listening to John Tesh critique gymnastics as a commentator in 1992 and 1996. What was that about?

As we gear up for tonight’s Opening Ceremonies in Sochi, here are my most vivid Olympic memories:

5. Olympic {Video} Games

I remember playing the Sega game “Olympic Gold” from the Barcelona 1992 games ALL the time with my siblings. It was as close as I was ever going to get to that high board, or the track.

Olympic_Gold_Coverart  Sega Game

4. Nancy v. Tanya

“WHHHHHYYYY?” Can you hear Kerrigan’s screams echoing in your head? Come on, this was as good as it gets for Olympic drama and it wasn’t even at the actual Olympics. ESPN just did a fantastic 30 for 30 called “The Price of Gold” for the scandal’s 20th anniversary.

3. Dream Team

I once impressed a very skeptical Joe, pre-wedding rings, by naming off the entire Dream Team from the 1992 Olympics. EVEN remembering their nicknames. EVEN remembering Laettner. #booyah. I think it’s why he married me. I possessed the slightest bit of sports knowledge…no longer the lost cause he thought I was. I’ve always preferred college bball to pro, but how could anyone not love every second of the Dream Team’s domination? They made everyone Team USA.

1992 Dream Team

2. Mr. Phelps

I got all teary in 2012 when we saw the last of Michael Phelps in the Olympic pools. I had grown to love the lanky, slightly-lispy boy wonder and his Chicos-clad Mama screaming in the stands. He, and those low, hip-hugging swim trunks, made every swimming event worth watching. Now I’ll just have to settle for Subway commercials.

Michael Phelps

1. Ms. Strug

From one Dream Team to another. The 1996 women’s gymnastics team, The Magnificent Seven, was unreal. These girls were roughly my age and I further related to fellow Okie Shannon Miller and those ridiculous scrunchies she used to wear. I still remember exactly where I was when Kerry Strug put on her game face to stick a vault landing after hurting her ankle on the previous jump. I mean, everyone remember this, right? I was sitting in a hotel room in Pagosa Springs, Colorado with my family. The TV reception wasn’t great, but good enough to know it was a monumental moment in Olympic history that won the team their much-deserved gold.

I also remember the team dancing the Macerena when it was all said and done and wondering how it all went wrong so quickly. That dance with those perfectly poised gymnastic hands — give me a break. But, dang….Kerry Strug for President.

(Side note: Kerry Stug now looks very similar to the actress who plays Edith on Downton.)

Edith Strug

Okay, so four out of five are from summer Olympics. …. Looks like I have appreciatin’ to do over these next few weeks! I have to give a shout-out to the first females ever to complete in the ski jump. My heart goes out to them – it’s my favorite event to do on Wii Fit, so I totally get it.

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4 thoughts on “Friday Five: Olympic Fever

  1. My earliest Olympic memory is Katerina Witt, too! I was mesmerized by her skating and her red costume.
    Robert and I recently watched the 30 for 30 Harding/Kerrigan story. Crazy stuff!!
    And finally…we really enjoyed listening to Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski’s ice skating commentary this year. They aired during the daytime coverage. Brutal comments at times, but very informative and colorful.

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