Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Olympics

It's here once again! The Winter Olympics are set to begin in Russia and for myself the Olympics have always played a major part in my life when they occur. I firmly remember Peter Jennings reporting from Calgary during the 1988 Games and those images have always stuck with me. Then the music played during the 1992, 94, and 98 Games by CBS would become ingrained in my brain to the point that in the mid 2000's I tracked down the composer from the credits of the broadcast I had on a VHS tape (remember those?) and e-mailed her requesting a recording. She didn't have it but she did send me the sheet music which is one of my more treasured tokens I have acquired during the years.

If anything though the most major Olympics happened just four years ago and was my first relevant blog. The Games in Vancouver, in a way, changed my life. Sure, I got great picture (no, really, I did! Don't believe me? Here, take a look...)

Okay, so I got sidetracked showing photos I took, and let me get sidetracked one more time as you can watch that whole competition but if you pause it at the 12:34 mark you can see me in all black just left of the guy in the yellow vest.

So where was I? Ah yes, four years ago my life changed with the Olympics as I gave my first true presentation that was an audience that wasn't expecting me. I had give about eight presentations to officers but a few days after this event I spoke at a Rotary meeting and from that I was given confidence that has budded into who I am now.

But besides four years ago why do the Olympics play such a major role in my being? I've wondered this even going back to the Albertville Games of 92 and maybe it's just the random fact that the Games have happened at a major point in time in my life. Then again perhaps it's that, for two weeks, all the world has a "Kansas" in the games. When the Lillehammer games of 94 ended I cried for days; truly days and it felt as if a close loved one had perished.

Another possibility is that there's a routine to it with an Olympics every two years (don't get me started on when they made that change in 92... I was so upset, well, until I realized I'd get an Olympics every two instead of four years, but at first... Oh boy!) and having an associative memory system it is much easier to recall the events of life during the Games because the two will boost each other. It's not so much to have a memory, but if a memory happened the same day Tommy Moe won the gold in the downhill in Lillehammer that memory is going to be amplified which is how I remember the whole ordeal of the car that parked in front of our house that freaked both of my parents out because of the loud music it was blasting while at the same time I was playing with my new Micro Machines town and then a half-hour later a whole fire truck brigade made a call to a house across the street. Yes, having one memory boost the other helps both.

But perhaps the biggest reason, and I stated it once, is that so many people will be focused on one thing. For myself, who likes the Olympics (I've been giving my girlfriend a crash course in my favorite event which is short track speed skating) it gives me a simple and easy common ground to be involved in a conversation. Let's put it this way; if I, here in Saint Louis, tried to talk about the sport of curling in the summer of 2012 I'd get, well, I'd get stares as if I were speaking a language native to the planet Neptune, but speak about it in a week and others will understand, or maybe even complain about the "skip" as to the reason a team lost. Because of this I feel a part of the world because the world is enjoying something I dearly love. I have my interests and they aren't going to be influenced by what other people think, but when the world comes and takes an interest in what I find to be two of the best weeks a person could ask for and then, well, memories will be made as usual.

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