Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Olympic Obsessed

Like a special friend who only visits once every four years, the Summer Olympics are back. And I'm in heaven. The competitions, the sports, the athletes, the NBC specials. The Summer Olympics are by far my favorite television event of all time. Why? Softball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, diving, swimming, track and field, wrestling... I love this time of year! 

I began my Olympic obsession back in 1984, hypnotized by gymnastics. Everyday, I begged for magazines, Olympic gear, the Atari game, an exercise mat, gymnastic lessons, and every single book about an Olympic athlete that I could get my hands on. 

What sparked my Olympic obsession? Three words. 

Mary Lou Retton

She was cute and girly, yet powerful and strong. I wanted to be Mary Lou Retton. 

Immediately, I raced to the hairdresser for the pixie cut and emptied my piggy bank to buy the official Olympic leotard. I rolled out my mat day after day dressed in red, white, and blue, attempting to do what I saw on television. I sucked. Seriously, I couldn't do a split, I was scared to death of the uneven bars, and I grew to be five foot two before my tenth birthday. Eventually, I gave up, tossed my mat in the closet and dusted off my glove and shin guards. It was not meant to be. 

What Summer Olympic sport is your fave? Can you think of a time in your life when you tried something new and it didn't exactly go as planned? Or did you ever obsessively idolize someone? 

PRETTY TOUGH TUESDAY: Check out Olympic Softball coverage here

Have a great day, everyone! :)


Kaitlyn said...

Favorite sport is a tie between Olympic Batmittion and Ping Pong.

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Kaitlyn! :) Love your new blog.

PJ Hoover said...

I'm totally with you on the Mary Lou thing. She was fantastic! What a great time!

Alyson Noel said...

I'm sooo not the sporty type- but I love watching the olympics- swimming, gymnastics, track, it's all good!

Sheri said...

I hate when I have to date myself... The Olympics used to be every four years and you would have the summer and winter Olympics in that same year. I think it wasn't until 1994 that they began alternating every 2 years.

Anyway, here are my Olympic memories,

1976 Summer – Nadia Comaneci – the first ever to get a perfect ten! I was already heavily into gymnastics. She was the world's sweetheart.
1976 Summer – Greg Louganis diving like a swan
1976 Winter – Dorothy Hammil won the gold – the hammil camel – And I ran out to get the Hammil haircut. Hammil haircut and bellbottoms!

1980 Winter – the miracle on ice, when the US won the gold for hockey. Those were such exciting games!

1988 Summer – when Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board as he plummeted into the water below

And anytime Apolo Ono skates! I love him!

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, PJ! Yes!!! :) Did you wear the leotard? :)

Hi, Alyson! Me too, except for the sporty part. :)

Hi, Sheri! I know what you mean. When, I was writing this post, I realized 1984 was twenty four years ago. Yikes. Yes, I remember.. Do you remember the Nadia - made for TV movie? I so want that. It was one of the best sports movies of all time. Great memories.

Tori Lennox said...

I love the Olympics!!! I'll watch the weirdest things I wouldn't give the time of day any other time. It's hysterical. But my favorite events are gymnastics, swimming and the equestrian events.

Angela said...

I loved to watch women's gymnastics. But my favorite sport was track (and I played field hockey!). I wished more than anything I could jump high... and practiced jumping from a friend's garage onto his trampoline.
I also wanted to grow up to be over six feet tall.

Dru said...

I'm more of a sports spectator. The only time I watch sports that I would normally not watch is during the Olympics.

My favorite events to watch are swimming, diving, gymnastics, track & field and basketball (although I like to only watch the medal rounds for basketball).

Marianne Arkins said...

Gymnastics for summer, figure skating for winter. I also like some of the speed events -- speed skating and swimming.

Last time I was freaky for the olympics was winter 1992 and Dan Jansen's bid for the gold.

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Tori! I know, me too. :) I was watching badminton this morning.

Hi, Angela! Six foot is a great height for an athlete. Sounds fun - jumping from the garage to the trampoline.

Hi, Dru! I agree about the basketball medal rounds. It's boring to watch some teams just kill others. Do you think Team USA is really the redeem team?

Hi, Marianne! Me too! ;) Oh yes, Jansen. I remember that story.

Caryn Caldwell said...

I always wanted to be a gymnast but, like you, I was a) too tall and b) not consumed by the natural talent or the drive required to get me to do all that scary stuff. It is amazing, though, how just watching Olympic-caliber gymnastics routines can make me feel so graceful. Too bad it's all a ruse!

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to be a gymnast but I'm already 15 and am so unflexible its not even funny. However, I can still watch (I feel sad for Alicia Sacramone, she must feel bad about her performance last night... and my favorite of the women's USA team has to be Shawn Johnson... she's amazing!) and "imitate" what I see on TV.

I'm very happy for Michael Phelbs and his now a billion gold medals, haha. :)

Anonymous said...


keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Caryn! I know what you mean.. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

Hi, Whatvanessreads! :) Me too - not flexible at all. :) It is a shame... Yes, Shawn Johnson and Michael Phelps are amazing.

Suzanne Young said...

I don't know if I have a favorite, but we tape it and then fast forward through the commercials. It makes it extra awesome!

And I got my books today, Keri!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Suzanne! Me too.. TVO is the best. Enjoy!

~Virginia~ said...

alas. it seems almost every blog i read is saying something about the olympics and i have absolutely nothing to add.

i think my aversion to sports of any kind (aside from basketball) stems from being one of the most unathletic people alive. :)

have a great weekend!

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Virginia! There are a ton of Olympic blogs right now and I'm loving it. :) You too! I'm off to Long Island for a wedding. You? :)

Brooke Taylor said...

Gymnastics and Equestrian (which used to be impossible to even see--but now thanks to all the cable channels, it is getting easier).

I was right there with ya on the Mary Lou craze. I would've made an awesome gymnast, but I was already past the prime at the ripe old age of 10.

Anonymous said...

I love watching the girls play volleyball, but it has to be men's swimming.

Three words: Micheal Phelp's abs.

Justin The Teen Librarian said...

I never got into the Olympics until this year. Unfortunately, I now don't have TV! Ugh.

keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Brooke! :) I know the coverage is great. And anything you miss on the television is on the internet. :)

Hi, Nicole! I'm with you on that one. :)

Hi, Justin! That stinks.