Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Night

So it is 12:12 a.m. and I am posing to my blog rather than soundly sleeping. This is because of two things:

1)C.T. wet his bed and I just finished tucking him in again after the whole sheet changing/pajama changing episode. Luckily this is a very rare occurrence for him.

2) I was watching the Women's Gymnastics All-Around finals of the Olympics. I was so invested in it that when C.T. came running out of his room I just scooped him up and held him until the competition ended. It was only at that point that I realized something was a little damp.

The Women's Gymnastic events are so much a part of my Olympic memories. I grew up believing that the Olympics were really something special. Something exciting. Something everyone watched. Later I realized not everyone watched, nor did everyone feel the Olympics were special or exciting, but still, my regard for them lingers...even as Gold medals are stripped for doping violations from years past.

I vividly remember the 1984 games in Los Angeles. I guess because it was actually on this continent they showed the events all day. I watched a lot of track and field. When Mary Lou Retton had her big moments, I was there for her. Back to back perfect 10's on the vault. That was great. (By the way - when did they change the scoring of gymnastics? I completely missed that transition.) I remember all of the commercials she was in after the games too.

An American girl won tonight, but somehow I doubt ad agencies are going to be knocking at her door with the same fervor. It is obvious that some of the Olympic Magic is gone from the world since Nadia and Mary Lou held the stage. This year's gymnasts probably wont get an enormously popular melody named after them. Still, I wanted to experience again some of the thrilling anticipation I used to feel during the Olympics. I'd say I got into the spirit of it pretty well - after all,I stayed up until midnight and held a urine soaked boy on my lap for fifteen minutes without realizing it. The Olympic Magic is not all gone for me yet...although I admit to not being as excited about this Michael Phelps as I could be. Enough already with the winning and the gold medals and world records. Isn't it someone else's turn? He's just starting to look like a medal hog, don't you think? Did you see the little piece they did on him where they showed that his body is freakishly disproportionate in just the right ways to be an unnaturally good swimmer? I know it really isn't, but it feels like he's cheating with his extra long arms and abnormally short legs. How is anyone supposed to beat that?

Tomorrow, when I am trying to be patient with three very small and energetic children on six hours of sleep (I'm hoping for the best here. Humor me in my delusions that my children will sleep until 6:30) my Olympic Night may not seem worth it, but for now, the dream lives on...


Lara said...

I also am getting no sleep due to the darn Olympics. I could barely stay awake the other night to see who won the men's all around.

And, my husband totally agrees with you about Phelps. I told him he was being unAmerican. :)

Rachel said...

Katie and I have been Olympic freaks this week. We record everything but boxing and then when we get home at night we speed through everything. Is it me or is 90% of the coverage beach volleyball?

And I'm starting to agree about Michael Phelps. I think I would feel better about him if he showed a little more excitement when he wins a race instead of looking like he expected it.

Liz W. said...

Ugh! Michael Phelps!! Are you a machine? I mean, come on!

I'm to the point now where I root for anyone but him.

It's not that I dislike the kid, but it's just not as exciting with him there because it's expected that he'll win--which he does-- so the mystery is over.

Really, I think the best part of the Olympics is when the underdog wins.

Like little Mr. French guy winning the bronze in the Men's gymnastics All Around. Did you see that? They were all crying!

This is the first Olympics in a long time that I've been interested in. I think I caught the spirit at the Knecht's party.

(And I've been doing the same as you, Rachel. I tape everything and then fast forward through it. And yes, during the day, it's all about beach volleyball! Is there no other sport going on?)

Amanda said...

I love Michael Phelps. Sorry girls. I'm still amazed every time he swims.
But, I am not only confused about why beach volleyball is on so much, but also why the women wear almost nothing, while the men wear normal clothes. Any ideas here? I get that they are in incredible shape and maybe if I was, I would like to celebrate that by showing off at the Olympics, but really?

Laura said...

I am VERY in to the Olympics - always have been. I cry when people triumph. I cry when I hear our National Anthem and see that beautiful flag being raised! I think it started with the 84 Olympics because I got to go to a couple of events! My mom worked for First Interstate Bank at the time which was a huge sponsor of the games. She was able to get our family tickets to an indoor volleyball match, and the synchronized swimming finals!! I was in my glory with that one, let me tell you! And the US girls won that year! That's when I fell in love with the Olympics!

Yes, I saw the piece about Michael Phelps body proportions. It was very interesting. And I'm with Amanda on this one, I love watching him and it's thrilling!

I do agree about the beach volleyball - but it makes me oh so grateful for Tivo! I record aabout 39.4 million hours of it per day and watch 10 minutes of gymnastics! It's great!

Katie said...

Okay, Wendy, I'm way behind in reading blogs, due to the fact that all I've done in the past 2 weeks was watch olympics. I loved every minute of it and stayed up way too late. I loved watching Michael Phelps and cheered him on at every turn, but also cheered for the underdog. I hope your lack of sleep and Olympics memories have been all worth it!

Gina said...

Same as Katie; I'm entering back into normal life post-olymipics. Viva Michael Phelps. He deserves every single gold and I totally root for him because of his serious work ethic and his drive to focus on the team (at least on tv). Speaking of beach volleyball (which I wasn't) Chris was so embarrassed to watch girls volleyball because they were "naked" and the men wore shirts?! Honestly!