Great Olympic Memories

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.”  

Synchronized Swimming

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.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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9 Responses to Great Olympic Memories

  1. This year’s olympic games are going to frustrate me. I think about the oppression of the Chinese government against its citizens who disagree and I think WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THE IOC THINKING? Should we even be there?

  2. JessieLou says:

    I agree with Citizen Cane – personally, I don’t think the IOC should have let China have the Olympics. We can’t buy anything in the US that doesn’t have “Made In China” stamped on it – not even a 3-prong pocket folder which is pretty sad. Perhaps this is ignorance on my end but I believe China is partially to blame for our high gas prices, along with India since both their consumption levels are on the rise in a big way. So the Chinese will continue to profit from consumers as a result of the Olympics all the way down to school supplies. Where will it end?

  3. supercynic says:

    Yet in the ultimate irony — one that even Oscar Wilde would not be able to foresee — China executed the leader of its equivalent of the US’s FDA for taking bribes and assorted wrongdoings. But in the US, the current administration wants a chief drug regulator who will favor drug companies to the point that these companies get immunity when their drugs kill consumers.

    Food for thought……except tomatoes and peppers — they’ve been recalled.

    On a lighter note, will all the medals in this Olympics be coated in lead paint? Athletes from around the world we be able to claim that they won “lead” at the 2008 Olympic games.

  4. supercynic says:

    That last sentence should read, “will be able to claim…”

    Now there’s another Bigfoot picture on your page. I’m waiting to get banned.

  5. larry says:

    JessieLou, I think that you are correct in regards to China and India’s demand for fuel having a direct impact on the supply and price in the U.S. We also have to remember who sent the jobs to China and India in the first place. By sending these jobs (?that no American will do?) out of the country, the U.S. has created additional markets for the oil producing countries. I am sure the U.S. is still the biggest consumer, but we do not have the same bargining power we had before these markets emerged.

  6. travellinbaen says:

    Didn’t ANYBODY think some part of the post was the slightest bit funny? At least the SNL video?

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    Yes TB the SNL part was funny but I guess we all headed for the serious part. Larry is absolutely correct about jobs that Americans were not willing to do going overseas or to other countries (don’t forget Mexico). Our country has evolved into one that does not encourage working or being willing to do anything to make money (legally) to make a living. Many are very spoiled so remember that when the temptation strikes to give your children everything their heart desires, if you indeed, have children. If they don’t have to work for things they want inevitably they turn into adults that expect everything to be handed to them. Not all do, but a good bit of them do. Of course, our initial conversation starter was about the Olympics – those who make it there know all about hardwork, goals and what it takes to get there.

  8. OB says:

    TB- Sure I thought your blog was funny! I especially loved the floatation devices those synch swimmers wore.

    Some even know how NOT to get there after all the hard work. Just ask Dan O’Brien!

    I loved watching Sugar Ray Leonard win the gold. Hated Roy Jones Jr. getting robbed of the gold.

    Loved watching Mary Lou, Kerri Strug and Domanick Moceanu dominate girls gymnastics. Hated Mary Decker getting tripped to ruin her gold hopes in track.

    Loved Carl Lewis and that flat top, Flo-Jo and those long nails, Michael Johnson and those golden shoes and Edwin Moses leaping all those hurdles. Hated the NBA Basketball players losing, because of a lack of hustle, intensity and chemistry.

    But, one of my most favorite Summer Olympics memories was watching Mohammed Ali light the Olympic torch in Atlanta.

  9. I totally meant to include the Dan O’Brien and that other guy decathlon rivalry thing. Nice reference.

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