Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Go for the Gold!

The world is watching the Olympics this week. We are cheering for our favorites, and witnessing athletes from around the world experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. (Does anyone else remember the Wide World of Sports?)

I imagine most of us have special memories of watching the Olympics over the years. We are able to witness exceptional athletes, learn about countries and cultures different from our own, and feel the pride as our flag rises over the podium.

My first memory of the Olympics was watching Peggy Fleming win the gold medal in figure skating in 1968. I was 8 years old, and I was home from school because I was sick. I was rarely sick enough to miss school, but for the days of Olympic skating, I watched from my spot in bed in my parents' room, sipping on chicken noodle soup and 7 Up/OJ cocktails. I was entranced by Peggy, wearing the lime green costume her mom had made, skating to Olympic gold.

It was the first Olympics broadcast in color, and of course, there weren't the viewing options at that time that we have today. I think the skating was on during the day, as it happened, and that's why it was a treat for me to be home (even sick) from school to watch it. She was beautiful, and inspired little girl skaters everywhere.

Speaking of the Olympics, I found a few photos from September 1988 when Ruthann organized a 'Kid Olympics' for our little ones in celebration of the Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Of course, while I was uploading pictures, Ruthann already wrote about it on her Caring Bridge site, and did so much more eloquently than I will. Be sure to click over and check it out.

The kids all lined up for the national anthem, which Josh played on his trumpet. I noticed (and was surprised and impressed) in this photo, that even the dads came to witness this event. Good job dads!
Flags over hearts, and attentive little faces listening to the Star Spangled Banner.
Elizabeth helps 18-month-old Caroline with her flag.
And let the games begin! We didn't have actually olympic events, but some makeshift kid-friendly activities. Here, Jennifer gets a little help from Emily, while Jessica waits her turn.
Willa and Andrew hit the bucket. (A bit like getting the stone in the house, right?)
After the competition, there were refreshments, and time for the athletes to rest. Here, Kyle, Caroline, and David relax on the bench.
Medals and flags for all!
Of course, if this happened today, I would have 267 photos to share instead of just a measly 7. I must have been preoccupied trying to keep track of my own 5, 4, 2, and 1 year olds (where was Jonathan, anyway?) and helping with the games for the group. I prefer to think that I was present, and enjoying one of life's little precious moments. It was a simpler time, and I didn't have to worry about tweeting, instagramming, or updating my status as each day unfolded. :) I'm just thankful to have the photos I do have, and to be able to locate them. Ha!
God bless each of these (now grown-up) children,
God bless the Olympic athletes, and
God bless America!

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