Flashback Friday: Olympic Memories

Mocha With Linda hosts a weekly meme called Flashback Friday. She’ll post a question every Thursday, and then Friday we can link our answers up on her site. You can visit her site for more Flashbacks.

The prompt for today is:

Did you and your family watch the Olympics when you were growing up? Which was your overall favorite – summer or winter? Which individual events were your favorites? Since blogging is international, which country did you cheer for? Have you ever been to an Olympics or known anyone who competed? What are some of the hallmark memories of the Olympics that you remember? Did the Olympics ever inspire you to take a certain sport (or practice more!)? Do you prefer watching them the old way when everything was delayed in the days before 24-hour cable and internet? Do you watch them more or less today than you did when you were growing up? What about the Special Olympics? Have you ever had any involvement with them?

Yes, we did watch them, or at least parts of them. I loved gymnastics, both men’s and women’s, in the summer and all the different kinds of ice skating in the winter, so it’s hard to say which I liked more.

I rooted for the USA, of course, but some times I cheered for personal favorites from other countries as well.

We lived just outside of Atlanta when the summer Olympics were held there in 1996, but we figured the traffic, lines, and throngs of people would be horrendous, so we didn’t go. I do kind of regret that now — it would have been nice to have been a part of a historic moment and to have taken the boys. But some dear friends of ours came up from SC to attend a couple of events (fairly obscure ones, from what I remember, that weren’t sold out and were a little more affordable), and we had a nice time with them. That was the year a bomb went off fairly early in the week, making us even more glad at the time that we hadn’t gone.

No, the Olympics never inspired me to take a sport — I am about as nonathletic as a body can be.

I like being able to watch events in real time. I do watch more now than I did as a child.

I’ve never personally had any involvement in the Special Olympics, but a coach in college was heavily involved and recruited many students to help as well. That was the first I had ever even heard of them.

My earliest Olympic memories are of gymnast Cathy Rigby and later Mary Lou Retton during the summer Olympics and  Scott Hamilton in the winter. I remember watching Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill skate, but I can’t remember if it was during the Olympics. One of my all time favorite events was from 1984 when Torville and Dean ice-danced to Bolero. I thought this was one of the most beautiful, graceful things I had ever seen:

And the Three Musketeers by Phillipe Candeloro in 1998 was such fun, especially the sword fighting at about 3:27 in:

I also remember the year Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas were top contenders in skating, the “battle of the Brians,” Dan Janssen’s sad skate after learning his sister had died, Mark Spitz’s swimming, Greg Louganis bonking his head while diving, Kerri Strug’s beautiful vault while injured, Jackie Joyner Kersee’s track races, the “Miracle on Ice” Hockey Game (I liked it much better when it was just “amateur” athletes), and of course Micheal Phelps’s achievements at the last summer Olympics. So inspiring. I’m not much of a sports fan, but there is just something about the Olympics.


5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Olympic Memories

  1. Hi Barbara ~~ Thank you for your tale. 🙂 I am enjoying reading about what all I missed. Of course, as an adult I do watch them now.

    Our daughter went to the 1996 Olympics in Georgia. They were all around, in and out of Atlanta. They pretty well parked the car and left it except to drive to the lake for the rowing.
    That’s fine with me about the traffic. I too avoid driving in Atlanta. It is very unorganized compared to our Houston, or even L.A. One never knows which side of the freeways to be driving on as the exits are liable to be on either side and come up very quickly.

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