Flashback Friday

Did you and your family watch the Olympics when you were growing up? Which was your overall favorite - summer or winter? Which individual events were your favorites? Since blogging is international, which country did you cheer for? Have you ever been to an Olympics or known anyone who competed? What are some of the hallmark memories of the Olympics that you remember? Did the Olympics ever inspire you to take a certain sport (or practice more!)? Do you prefer watching them the old way when everything was delayed in the days before 24-hour cable and internet? Do you watch them more or less today than you did when you were growing up? What about the Special Olympics? Have you ever had any involvement with them?

Oh, how I used to LOVE the Olympics!  Summer, winter...it didn't matter.  The athletes were so incredibly awesome, competing for their country.  And, they were all amateurs!  Amazing!  During the Summer Olympics, my favorite sports were gymnastics and diving.  In the Winter:  ice skating and downhill skiing.  I loved how we would spend evenings around the tv, cheering on our athletes.  I think they have lost a little bit of their luster now that they're rotating every 2 years:  Last year was the winter, in 2 years it will be the summer.  And, the professional athletes have taken away from the excitement, too.  Remember Nadia Comenici?  And Mary Lou Retton?  And Tai Babylonia and Randy Gardner?  You've gotta remember Dorothy Hamill!
I don't know anyone who has competed in the Olympics, but supposedly my MIL was on the Danish Olympic Swim Team until some kind of muscle problem kept her from training.  What an honor it must be for those athletes to be selected to represent their country.
You would think, with my profession, that I would have some involvement with Special Olympics.  I did go to a regional event when we lived in SC.  Since they are held during school hours, I don't get to go.  The special ed classes at school participate, but since most of my students are in the regular ed classroom, I have to stay back and actually do what I'm getting paid to do.
I always thought it would be so incredibly neat to hang out in the athlete's village.  I envisioned the athletes mingling and sitting around playing cards with athletes from other countries.  I realize it's not really like that, but that's just how I thought it was.  Especially for the winter olympics.
The Olympics haven't been without their tragedies, either.  The Munich Massacre in 1972.  The bombing incident in Atlanta in 1996.  And, most recently, the luger who died during a practice run last year.
Although politics shouldn't play a part in the Olympics, we all know that they have been the reason for boycotts throughout its history.  I always felt so badly for the amateur athletes who trained their whole lives to be able to compete in the Olympics, just to have that taken away from them by the leaders of their countries.  I don't think I would feel quite so badly now, since so many professional athletes are participating.
I could go on and on about the Olympics.  They definitely aren't what they were when I was growing up.


  1. I agree ... the Olympics quite aren't the same now with professional athletes involved.

  2. Mary, I enjoyed your Olympic memories. I agree, they have lost some of their luster--and for the same reasons that you cited. Oh those used to be some exciting times, didn't they???
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Unfortunately things have changed haven't they. Enjoyed your post, I wish we would of watched them more when I was growing up. But I do remember Spitz, Retton and Hammil. Awesome athetes and you could just tell their hearts were in it. Thanks for sharing.
    until next time... nel

  4. I like having them every two years. It's still every 4 for each "season"; we just don't have to wait so long for each one and then have them both the same year. But I do agree with the professional aspect. That and the whole doping issue have really tainted the events.

    But I love hearing the stories behind the scenes and rooting for the athletes. And I totally agree with you about the poor athletes who work so hard and then don't get to participate because of a boycott. Such a shame.

  5. Love, love, love the games. So glad now I can watch with TIVO so I can skip all the commericals and watch even more.

  6. I don't remember watching them to much when I was young. I have watched then since I've been an adult. I really enjoyed the Winter olympics last year. I always like gymnastics.

  7. I always loved the skating and the gymnastics.
    My cousin Patrick has been in the special Olympics. He is practically famous. {in our family.) :)

  8. You're right, things have changed for Olympics through the years, even in my life time it's not the same as it used to be.

    Have a good weekend!

  9. Oh, this is fun! I love the Olympics - and I'm such a girl in that I love the figure skating and gymnastics! But I really do enjoy it all.

  10. I have the fondest memories of watching the Olympics growing up. I'm with you...

    Summer....winter....It didn't matter to me!

  11. I've never been a big fan of the Olympics,though I did watch as a child--mainly because we only had 3 channels! It's just not the same now at all.

  12. Who doesn't like the Olympics! As a kid, I preferred the summer Olymipic games because I loved the gymnastics, but I liked the winter sports because of ice skating. I remember the year Nadia Comaneci took the gold in '76 Olympics and then the birth of Nadia's theme on The Young & the Restless, I think that's right. The same year, Dorothy Hamill won the gold medal on the ice. How thrilling! And, her bobbed doo became the crase for young girls. I couldn't wear that style, unfortunately.

    My family love watching the Olympics and it doesn't matter if it's the winter or summer sports. We love it all! It would be cool to see the Olympics live, but we have only broadcast TV and it would be a frustration to view it on our computer monitor. This past winter Olympics was really enjoyable for us, as we got to watch a lot of it.

    Come visit My Blog to learn about what's going on with me and if you're looking for a nice children's book, then be sure to check out mine: The Tale of Ole Green Eyes

  13. I popped in to tell you that I left a little something for you on my blog. :)


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