Posts Tagged ‘Sochi’

figure skating championships boston

(Photo from last month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships here in Boston)

I love the Olympics. All of it.

The pageantry of the opening ceremonies, the bright colors of all the different countries’ flags, the hushed tension as we watch the competitions and the bursts of cheering at the end of a run, a race or a routine. I love the cheesy ads featuring the athletes, the clips of vintage Olympic triumphs, and Morgan Freeman’s voice. I love the mini-documentaries that tell bits of the athletes’ stories. I love Bob Costas’ commentary (and I’m so sad that his eye infection has taken him out of these Games). And oh my, do I love the Olympic theme music.

Every time the Olympics come around again, I remember the names and the glories of past Games. I remember watching Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano and other great skaters dazzle on the ice in the 1980s and 1990s. I remember being captivated by the love story, on and off the ice, of Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, and horrified by the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal. I remember seeing Oksana Baiul, in a pink confection of a costume, wow the crowd at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, and four years later, watching Tara Lipinski make the same kind of impression in Nagano.

We are deep into the Sochi Games over here, cheering for the snowboarding and the downhill skiing and every single event in the figure skating competition. J wants to know if we can get the slopestyle announcers to commentate the figure skating, because they keep saying things like “that was totally awesome” or “he laid down a smoker” after a really good run. The grace and power of the ice dancers nearly makes me weep. And I cringe when anyone falls – because I want them all to do well. I wish they all could win.

For two weeks every four years, J and I become obsessed with ski jumps and triple toe loops and the finer points of sports we never think about outside of the Olympics. We hold our breath and bite our nails and cheer at the top of our lungs, and I am guaranteed to get misty-eyed during the medal ceremonies. I love everything about the Games, but most of all, I love the stories. And for two weeks, I watch, starry-eyed and enthralled, soaking up as many of them as I can.

Are you watching the Sochi Olympics? What’s your favorite part?

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