Quote of the Day “Spanning the globe, to bring you the constant variety of sport…the thrill of victory….and the agony of defeat.” Jim McKay, introducing Wide World of Sports
The Beijing Summer Olympics are set to begin in a few days and I don’t know about you, but TB is all atingle (look for this word in next years New American Dictionary). I’ve been reflecting on some of the personal memories of Games past that have meant so much, and I thought I’d share those memories.
1980 through the present–video of the 1972 Men’s basketball finale between the USA and the USSR and accompanying videos. This recurring story taught me as a young athlete that there are times when you have to blame the refs when you lose. A true Olympic shining moment.
Bruce Jenner on reality shows. This barely edged out Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties Box because I only remember video of the box since we didn’t eat Wheaties. Bruce Jenner–Gold Medalist, All-American hair, train wreck.
Pickup trucks circling the field at the Atlanta Opening Ceremonies. I saw this live and didn’t see any other Olympic action that year, so this memory has become more indelible than that of the FBI’s wrongful accusation of the Centennial Park bomber.
Jordan, Bird, and Johnson signing autographs during timeouts of their dream team games. Hopefully the Angolan’s didn’t get them personalized because that would really diminish their Ebay value.
Bela Karolyi carrying some wounded 9 year old off the gymnastics floor. Taking the “child” out of “childhood”, another of the timeless Olympic values.
Carl Lewis getting the news that his urine came back clean, and Canadian Ben Johnson finding his to be tainted–nothing exemplifies the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat more than the chain of custody of these men’s bodily fluids.
Getting a free large fries when Greg Louganis took home Gold in 1984. Only McDonald’s could invent a way for us all to truly appreciate the years of sacrifice and anonymity of our valiant Olympian warriors.
And finally, the synchronized swimming of Martin Short, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest aired on Saturday Night Live. “I’m not that great a swimmer.”
Let’s be honest, without any country to really hate, why even televise the Olympics in the US anymore? Until Iran or North Korea or Venezuela start winning a bunch of Gold, let’s just put everything on hold. Or could it be that we are the new Russians for the rest of the world? If that’s the case, I take it back. Let’s kick some ass.