Back in the summer of 1984, I was newly pregnant and spilled milk could make me cry. Add the Summer Olympics (in Los Angeles -- the one that was boycotted) to the mix and I spent a lot of time bawling. Anytime I heard the national anthem, I teared up. Every time somebody -- no matter from what country -- had a gold medal placed around their neck, I boo-hooed. And the commercials? Forget about it! Sappy and sugary and made to tug on the heartstrings, they could make me sob with alarming regularity.
I remember one commercial in particular to this very day. Two farmers, up at the crack of dawn, look at each other and ask, "is it time yet?" Yes, one says and they make their way to a lonely country road where a lone torch bearer runs by. The two men applaud and the runner continues on his way. Took me down every single time it aired. I don't remember what the commercial was for -- Coke, maybe? I bet it's on YouTube -- but I'd have to figure out exactly what search words to use. Maybe farmers applaud Olympic torch. I know you're going to try that right now, arent' you?
There are a few ads this year that make me weepy -- notably the one where all the Olympic participants are kids and the tag line is "to mothers, they are always children". That one is for Tide detergent -- I know that now but ask me in twenty-five years and I'll probably give you a blank stare. But I'll still want to weep.
I've mentioned that I'm not into sports -- unless I have a child playing. Other than that, I'm just not interested. But there is something about the Olympics that make me tune in -- more so the winter games than the summer ones -- probably because snow is so alien to me (except for last weekend! Whoo-hoo!) I guess winning a medal at the Olympics is sort of like winning an Oscar -- the few...the proud...the spandex...
This year tragedy struck the Olympics with the death of the Georgian luger. Watching his team walk into the stadium was heart-wrenching. And, yes, tears were welling. The team's somber faces said more than any words ever could but I think they did the right thing by attending the opening ceremonies, if for nothing else than in Nodar Kumaritashvili's honor. Looking at some of these sports, I don't see how there aren't more injuries -- or fatalities -- every year. But, I guess those who love the thrill of victory can't dwell too much on the agony of defeat.
I'll TiVo the figure skating during the Olympics but everything else I'll watch as I have a chance. One thing I do know is that there is way too much talk by the commentators. The other night, the sound went out and for a few blessed seconds there was only the skaters gliding on the ice. True, it meant no music either, but it really didn't matter. I know these commentators are necessary but do they have to be so intrusive? Can't we just see some of this stuff without the never-ending prattle? Can anyone say mute button?
And tell me, really, has there ever been a better name than Apolo Ohno?
I think not.
It's almost enough to make me cry.
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When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus