Trek Women
August 15, 2008

Start with a dummmm...

Landing_stickDummmm, duuuuum, da, dumm, dumm… I hear the Olympics song, those big drums and then the horns, and I get goosebumps and my eyes immediately tear up. What must it be like to be an Olympian? Who among us hasn’t secretly practiced sticking a gymnastics landing* or pictured yourself on the podium mouthing the words to the national anthem, your hand over your heart.

Maybe you’ve wondered -- what if I have an innate Olympic-caliber talent and I don’t know it because I never tried that sport. I could be an archer? An equestrienne? A kayaker? A gold medal could be waiting for me!

I once asked my friend Joe who competed in Sydney and Athens what it was like racing at that level. He said you can’t think you’re a winner, you have to know it. He also said something to the effect of “what happens in the Olympic Village, stays in the Olympic Village.” Apparently, a lot of “international relations” goes on there. Or maybe that was just him.

Anyway, on to my point, but first an aside -– Michael Phelps! His freestyle stroke is breathtaking. I like seeing his mama in the stands, too. Two more races to go - the last one a relay. Will he swim first, last?  The pressure on that relay team -- you don't want to be the one that blows it for him. I'm nervous already. 

At last to my point: here’s what I’ve learned from the Olympics:

Always follow your dreams whatever it takes, try everything you can, pick yourself up if you fall, bang your drum, toot your horn, cheer for those you love and know you’re a winner.

* I once ended up in the ER with a sprained ankle after trying to stick a landing off the back of our TV room sofa. I was 15. hee hee.

Comments

So, this is why my daughter is screening what events her boys are watching. She wants no backflips off the top of my piano, Now I get it. M

Posted by: Trek Sister Marie | Aug 15, 2008 7:33:38 PM

Funny, I've heard the same thing about the Olympic Village. On a slightly more serious note I was definitely tearing up big time when Shalane Flanagan got the bronze in the 10,000 meters. The field gets so spread out in that race she wasn't even completely sure if she got third or not until it was over, but her strong finish and her reaction when she learned she had won the bronze was pretty sweet.

Posted by: Jason Gilman | Aug 16, 2008 4:30:38 AM

I agree Shalane's run was incredible. Is it me or are there an inordinate amount of athletes getting felled by food poisoning at the Games? I was watching the rowing races this afternoon and the announcers were talking about the competitors that had to drop out because they were sick. One guy from New Zealand lost 9 pounds in 3 days from it. How awful for all of these athletes.

Phelps and Dara Torres race tonight!!!

Posted by: Laura | Aug 16, 2008 2:54:56 PM

My sister and I broke a toybox as kids using it as a vault trying to be Olympic gymnasts. . . .

On another note - NBC has taken the "give you goosbumps of American pride" to the next level this Olympics. On their website there is an Olympic soundtrack complete with inspiring videos of athletes and lots of songs by various artists containing the words "champion" somewhere in them. Oh, how the Olympic marketing machine can suck me in. . . .
-Jen

Posted by: Jen | Aug 20, 2008 3:44:04 PM

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