Oh yes, it wouldn’t be an “Olympics trip” without some mention of the Olympics, right?
So, yeah, the Olympics. I love the Olympics. A lot. Some might say I’m obsessed. And I remember the moment I first fell in love with the Olympics.
I was 15, the Atlanta games. Without a drivers’ license, job, school, or friends that lived nearby, I was watching a lot of Olympics to entertain myself. I had watched every minute of the women’s team gymnastics competition, and like a good football game that comes down the to final play (Miracle in Michigan, anyone?) the Americans were in the lead with one more event but the game ain’t over yet. And then came that dreaded vault where there were a few falls. And it all came down to one athlete, one vault, and she landed it on one foot. And the US won gold by less than two tenths of a point.
I remember leaping from the couch, yelling and cheering, looking around, and there was no one to share this moment with. My folks were out of town. My sister was probably off somewhere. And I knew this was one of those historical moments that people would talk about for decades. I had just seen history happen.
And I was hooked.
Several years ago my friend and I had joked about volunteering in Vancouver for 2010. But we never took steps to make it happen. But as I watched the opening ceremonies for 2010 surrounded by friends while decked out in one of my Olympics shirts and hat, I thought again of volunteering. And hey, London wouldn’t be a bad place to have to do so!
To make a long story short, I was confused about the visa requirements to volunteer and racked by indecision. When I finally made up my mind that, yes, I wanted to make this happen, I realized I had missed the November 2010 deadline by a matter of two weeks.
And my London friend invited me to visit and I agreed and I thought, “Yeah! Gonna still happen!”
The story of tickets is and even longer story. But to summarize, we decided she would try to get some from her end; it was a lottery and didn’t work out; I went back online later on my end but the only thing left was boxing (and watching two people hit each other in the face is not something I find entertaining); I figured, “Oh well, I’ll just watch the marathon or bike races from the street or something;” and then I got an e-mail from the US distributor saying more tickets were going to be released. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that. I ended up taking an hour of vacation in the middle of the workday so I could nab some REAL tickets to REAL events (that are now sitting in London at will call because shipping was crazy pricey).
I told my friend that since she was letting me sleep on her couch, the least I could do was pay for her tickets. So she and I will be seeing kayaking and shooting. Not the most glamorous events, but they were reasonably priced. (Athletics was $800/seat! Yikes!) Plus, every athlete has worked so hard to get to the Olympics that they’ll all be worth watching in some way, right? (Well, except, sorry, still not interested in seeing boxing.)
I’m also hoping to still be able to see a marathon or bike race from the sidewalk – especially since I found out a CU alum Kara Goucher is running!
Some other Olympics-related things I’m excited about:
- walking down the street hearing nearly every possible language
- walking down the street seeing nearly every possible country flag
- getting a picture in front of the rings or the torch holding a CU flag
- possibly Tebowing in front of said rings or torch
- flying into Heathrow a few days before the games, when it’ll be packed with people flying in from all over the world – yes, I’m actually looking forward to this experience
Anyone else have any ideas I should add to that list?
I think mainly I’m looking forward to the Olympics as a multi-cultural experience. In my opinion, the Olympics are one of very few things in this world that can bring people together from all different backgrounds for one common goal: to have fun and celebrate.
For part three, I’ll be posting about one of the fun things I have planned AFTER seeing the Olympics. Oh yes, there’s more to this epic trip of epicness! Here’s a teaser:
Postscript: Considering breaking down to get a Tivo or DVR. Unlike previous Olympics where I’ve rushed home from work to sit glued to the boob tube for two weeks, I’ll be all over the place and unable to watch everything. Don’t get me wrong, this summer’s experience is highly preferable, but I’d also be happy to come home to a few hundred hours of ready-to-watch entertainment. My Netflix account may gather dust for a while… 🙂