08 August 2008

Beijing 2008

I have a thing for the Olympics. And when I say "thing", I mean "a love affair with".

It all started in Salt Lake City 2002. And I went to a lot of events. I definitely caught the olympic fever.

Actually, take that back, it started way before that. It started when I was charmed by Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi, the ice skaters that I idolized. But, I lived in Arizona and had never been on ice before, so my glorified impersonations consisted of performing roller skate shows with my sister on my driveway. I soon realized that I would never make it to the olympics on roller skates. So, that was the end of that.

And then, I took to gymnastics. I decided I was going to be an olympic gymnast and so I watched olympic gymnasts, wanting to be just like them. This was around the Atlanta 1996 games. Remember Kerri Strug and her heroic, perfect vault on a broken ankle?I'll never forget it. I think I cried when her one-legged vault miracle allowed the USA to win the gymnastics gold medal. I knew the name of almost every girl on the team that year and I still remember: Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, and Shannon Miller. I had a book about them that was my reference guide. It is well-worn and used.

Anyway: Moral of the story, mimicking olympic heroes will not necessarily get you to the olympics. Because, quite obviously, I'm in Provo, not in Beijing marching into the stadium with the USA olympic team. And you say, Laura, but the olympics happen every four years. Don't give up, you have another chance. And I say, Forget it. I'm giving up. In four more years, I'll be 23 and much to old to compete as a gymnast. I'd be competing against young, spry 16 and 17 year olds. Not to mention the fact that the only gymnastics trick I can still do is a cartwheel.

So, tonight is the opening ceremonies for Beijing 2008. Or rather this morning the opening ceremonies happened in China, but it was Friday night there when it happened. So really, tonight they happen, yet this morning they did happen. Anyway, I'm confused about whether this event should be talked about in past or present-tense.

Either way, I'll be celebrating when I watch the rerun of team USA entering the stadium. And, I'll try hard not to be bitter that I'm not there with them.

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