Just like our fearless and fashionable leader, Gabriella, I am obsessing over the London Olympics this week. Is anyone really surprised by this? It’s London; being an unabashed Anglophile (and a sports fan at that), there just wasn’t any way that I wasn’t going to be glued to the TV for coverage.
Impatient for coverage of the opening ceremonies, I found a BBC stream and watched them live so I didn’t have to wait for the NBC feed to hit the Pacific coast. Some thought that Danny Boyle’s vision was too far off the mark; I was entertained by Bond and the Queen and probably the best soundtrack in Olympic memory. The lighting of the cauldron was unforgettable and formed a new brand of the British Rose for generations to come. Honestly, I don’t care if people pour out of a tor on a corner of a stage, recite Shakespeare, pay homage to their national healthcare system and literary villains and cap it off by taking a brief tour down their rock and roll heritage. I was more irritated by Matt Lauer and Bob Costas’s incredibly lackluster commentary during the parade of nations.
London obsession aside, I love watching the Olympics. I never miss them. My memories of them go back to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Not only because I was lucky enough to attend an event (volleyball), but I also had more free McDonald’s that summer (half of which was consumed in Hawaii due to a family trip there) than any other time in my life. I had a Sam the Eagle stuffed animal, Sam the Eagle mug and a whole slew of Olympic tees (I saw this shirt a few times on Polk Street and wondered if they were in some vintage shop I missed, since I owned a mini version of this as a kid, only to find out that The Gap had reproduced it for the summer). My siblings and I cheered along with my dad when Carl Lewis and Edwin Moses struck gold. My sister and I had crushes on the Men’s Gymnastics team and tried to tumble around like Mary Lou (no contest on that one, she was WAY better). There was no doubt that 1984 was a golden summer for the USA.
Fast forward to this summer, and a little over one week in, the games of the 30th modern Olympiad have not disappointed (well, unless you were pulling for Team GB in football like me) and have provided some stunning memories that just aren’t going to be repeated anytime soon. Michael Phelps became the most decorated athlete of all time. The women’s gymnastics team rose to the occasion, while the men’s team crumbled under the weight. Serena finally won a gold medal and didn’t blink when the flag came off its tether. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings continue to dominate beach volleyball. The USA women’s soccer team is never boring to watch. Team GB became a truly united team and has surprised everyone with their golden weekend (the most emotional win so far is Mo Farrah’s 10k run for the gold, followed by Andy Murray’s win over Federer). Also, the Royals are out in full force! I’m not entirely sure that they don’t have clones running around, since they seem to be everywhere. There’s just no shortage of moments to look back on and marvel at for one reason or another…and we’re not even done yet!
It’s going to be quite difficult to top these games, both in terms of sentimentality and achievement. I can’t wait to see what else happens before everything wraps up on the 12th.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
- Flash Back Friday: 1984 Olympics
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- Time Magazine – 100 Olympic Athletes To Watch
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