Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Olympics- London 2012

Last week, the Summer Olympics started in London, and everyone I know has Olympic fever! I think it has to do with how much everyone is on social online communities now. There are constant reminders that exciting international games are happening.

I was excited about the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, and I was really happy that Sarah and Lukas wanted to come over to watch with us. Left to our own devices, Kevin and I might not have made it to the end, and then I would have been sad about it the next day. We have a DVR, but it's just not the same when it's an "event." (For that reason, and because James never slept, James and I watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at 4-6 a.m. last year.)

Summer Olympics 2012
Opening Ceremony of 2012 Summer Olympics in London (photo of my television)

I think it's remarkable that even after years of watching the Olympics, I didn't remember that the opening ceremony was so ridiculously long! Was it longer this year? Maybe it just felt longer because it was kind of awful and nonsensical.

I also thought it was funny that the terrifying opening ceremony from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was still fresh in everyone's mind. Kevin and I left for my bar trip in Peru a few days after the 2008 Olympics started so we watched most of what we watched on tiny hotel television sets. I took this picture in Cusco, while we watched Phelps win his 8th gold medal.

Cusco, Peru 2008
Watching Phelps win his 8th gold medal, 2008 Summer Olympics 

On the other hand, I have almost entirely forgotten everything about the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  The only thing I remember is that we watched the opening ceremony the weekend we were celebrating Kevin's 30th birthday. Andrew, Jim, Lisa, Briggs, Jon, and James W were at our apartment in Brooklyn, and we all thought it was hilarious that they had trouble lighting the torch. That's it. That's what I have in the memory banks for posterity.

Opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Kevin's 30th Birthday 2010
Olympic hilarity 

Here's a fun fact, Kevin was born during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The "Miracle on Ice" happened a week after he was born. Obviously, I don't remember this historic sports event because I was 11 months old at the time, but growing up we visited Lake Placid a lot, and throughout the 90's, that town still lived in the 1980 Winter Olympics (and to a lesser extent, the 1932 Winter Olympics). Besides that, I don't actually remember much about the Winter Olympics growing up.

The first Summer Olympics I remember were the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Maybe I remember it because that one was held a little on the later side in September and I was in school. it was probably discussed a lot in class. I also remember a ton of commercial tie-ins to the Olympic rings on every possible product. It was also a huge deal that South Korea was hosting the Olympics during the Cold War, the significance of which was cloudy but not completely lost on our 4th grade class.

What our kids are probably going to think is really weird is that when we were growing up the Summer and Winter Olympics took place in the same year.  We had 6 weeks of Olympics every 4 years? That seems extreme. The last time it happened in the same year was 1992. That was also the first post-Cold-War Olympics year. The Winter Olympics that year saw a unified Germany team, and the Summer Olympics that year were the first with no boycotts since the Cold War. Kevin and I were both in middle school. After that, the Winter and Summer Olympics were split up into different years. That, and the lack of cell phone in our youth, will make our children think we're ancient.

Which Olympics do you remember from your past?

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