I have lived for the seventeen days of Olympic glory every over year for my entire life. I enjoy watching sports, but I’m not a fanatic. And I definitely prefer them live to actually watching them on TV. But then there are the Olympics. And if my nose could be pressed to the screen and I could still see, that’s where I would be for seventeen days — no matter how terrible the NBC coverage might be, it’s still better than the last time CBS covered them in ‘98.
I have no doubt that the 1988 Games were on in my presence, but it’s not until I watched Kristi Yamaguchi win gold at the Albertville Olympics do I officially remember the Olympics. I puked my food poisoned guts up to the tune of my black and white television’s broadcast of the Barcelona Games while at summer camp. I mastered recording on a VCR during the Lillehammer Games. I was glued to the arm chair in my grandparent’s basement, refusing to move for a second of the Atlanta Games as they were in MY COUNTRY. I fell in absolute love with woman’s hockey during its debut at the Nagano Games. I teared up as Cathy Freeman won the 400m in Sydney and hyperventilated after lights out in the dorm watching Alexei Yagudin win gold in Salt Lake. I was in shock and awe as Paul Hamm fell on vault and came back to win the all-around, and I yelled at Ian Thorpe to drown during a relay in Athens. My stress levels increased any time Apolo Anton Ohno stepped on the ice in Torino. I made a friend record the opening Beijing ceremony so I could continue consuming lamb at Arab fest and watched the games in awe as Michael Phelps became untouchable. I watched all of the Vancouver Olympics in Chinese — it doesn’t matter what language they’re in, they are amazing and there was no chance that I wasn’t going to be getting my butt up to London for these games.
Olympic Stop Numero Ono: Catching the Torch on it’s way up the Thames.
Breathe Jenni. Breathe. Your life long dream of going to the Olympics is finally coming true.