How do I love the Olympics? Let me count the ways!
I'm a total Olympic dork, from the opening ceremonies (even though that whole bit with the kid flailing in the air over the plains for 20 minutes was a bit strange) to every random ice & snow event those athletes come up with. It's bizarre, actually, given how I hate being cold, was a total skiing fiasco (the term "yard sale" was coined just for me), and never quite had the balance to skate without falling (although I blame my parents for this: they had us learn to skate on my older brothers' hockey skates...which were made in 1942...with no ankle support...on a pond that might or might not have been all the way frozen. Granted, the water was only 5-6 inches deep beneath the ice, but we didn't know that! Just imagine what feats of Olympic greatness might have happened had our little ankles been stable and our little minds been free of the terror of the deep?!?)
I've been cheering across national borders for the past two days, celebrating with teary eyes along with a Canadian mogul skier, a Dutch speed skater, and the Chinese couple who won last night's pairs figure skating gold. It's fun to watch really talented people succeed.
But it's also fun to feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself. A Twitter friend pointed me to this article in the New York Times about the long-term benefits of playing team sports, and I was captivated. Partly because my own mediocre attempts at athleticism have served me well, but more because I wonder if that sort of team experience isn't something we long for later in life, too? Isn't this sort of what book clubs are? And writing groups? And even (although this is a stretch) following along as Jennifer Weiner live-tweets The Bachelor? It's part identity, saying who we are & what we care about, and part experiencing something together. I dig that.
So let's create our own Olympics! Tell me this: If you were to compete for the gold in some newly created winter "sport" what would it be? (And let's keep this family-friendly, limited to things that can be shown by ABC in prime time!)
Me? I'm in training for 2014, where I'll compete with the world's best in Speed Dressing, where you dig an entire outfit from a bin unfolded of laundry. Go team!