I love the hope, the struggle, the passion the athletes must have. I love the human-interest stories that give me the athletes' back stories and make me feel for and better know who they are and what they're about and the battles they've faced. I love the commercials, especially this one, this one, and this one--I cry every time! I mean Dan Jansen, sitting on the ice, head in his hands? You can just feel his heartbreak. The Zhangs, trying that throw again after disaster? The pain in her face, the concern in his; her courage to try it again is triumphant in and of itself. And all those young athletes--the possibility, the potential, the hope, the years of work ahead, leading to triumph or to anguish, determined in a split second. Oh my word, pass the tissues, please!
In 2006, when the Winter Olympics were in Torino, Italy, Jason and I lived about five hours away. So of course we had to go!
Here's us, up at the Freestyle Aerials competition. We never did get to see it because they had to move it to another day due to the snow (there's a whole other story here, but that will have to wait for another day), but we had a lot of fun waiting around and talking to people. :) The jump ramps are up behind us to the right of me in the photo.
We also saw a Short Track speed skating event, and a Skeleton event (like Luge except they go down head-first on their stomachs instead of feet-first on their backs). It was great to be there and experience the Olympic Spirit in person, and I'd love to be able to go to another Olympics someday. But I did miss a lot, since we were there instead of watching it all on TV (and there, tickets were expensive and/or sold out). We didn't get to watch the Opening Ceremonies, or any other events besides the ones we attended... but what I missed most were the human-interest stories. I love hearing about peoples' stories. I suppose that's why I like scrapbooking; when I look at other people's pages the first thing I do is read the journaling. So I'm really looking forward to hearing all the stories this year. The interviews, the profiles, the sagas--bring them on, I've got the tissues ready!
And I loved watching the Opening Ceremonies tonight. LOVED it. I loved learning about different aspects of Canada; I loved the whales and the beat poet and even the weird Celtic Punks. I especially loved the Parade of Nations. I cheered for all the countries I've been to and love, like Czech Republic and South Korea, Slovakia and Belgium. I cheered for all the countries who have only one or two or a handful of athletes. I love that they must know that they don't have a very good shot at a medal, but being there and experiencing it all and doing their best is enough; I love their hope and I love their pride. I cheered for Italy, and I cried, remembering our time there and missing it so much, and remembering Daniele walking with his fellow Italian athletes two years ago in Beijing.
And I cheered, of course, for the United States most of all; for Apolo Ohno and Lindsey Vonn, for Shaun White and Bode Miller, and for all of the athletes we'll come to know over the next two weeks.
Enjoy the Olympics and have a great weekend!