Monday, July 9, 2012

Countdown to the Olympic Games

Grams is a HUGE fan of the Olympic games. There is just something so wonderful about so many of the countries of the world coming together to compete for the sake of sport.  I've loved watching them since I was a teenager. I enjoy both the winter and summer games. I like to watch everything from the opening ceremonies until the flame is extinguished.

The summer games are my favorites. Like almost everyone else, I enjoy watching the gymnastics competition. Beach volleyball is always fun too; wrestling, pentathlon, fencing, swimming, and everything in between, I like it all. I will admit that I'm not wild about boxing. (I dislike it so much that I don't actually watch the boxing events.) I love, love, love the track and field events. My favorite event of all is hurdles. I think it is the most graceful and beautiful thing to watch world class hurdlers stretch across those obstacles. It's just beautiful to watch.

I'm extra excited about the London 2012 Olympics for two reasons. Number one is, for the first time ever, I won't be working during the games. In the past, I have actually considered taking two weeks of vacation so I could watch everything that's televised, but I've never done it. But now that I work part time as a substitute teacher, I'll be free to watch as much as I want because I'll still be on summer vacation! With the assistance of my DVR, I'll be able to catch everything I want to see. I can't wait.

Photo from Wikipedia
The number two reason is Team USA high jumper Amy Acuff. You see, Amy is from my home town. She went to the same schools my kids went to. Not only that, we actually knew her when she went to Calallen High School. When Katy was in middle school, she was also a high jumper. That's when we met Amy. She's four years older than Katy. Amy, who was in high school then, would sometimes come to the middle school to work with the younger high jumpers and help them improve. Even then, she was already a world class athlete. I was very impressed that she would take time to work with the younger girls.

After graduating from Calallen High School she went to college at UCLA where she continued high jumping. In addition to her career as an Olympic High Jumper, she is a Licensed Acupuncturist, a model, and now the 36-year-old mother of a two year old daughter.

London will be Amy's fifth trip to the Olympics. That alone is an amazing feat. She competed in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. Her best finish was 4th place in 2004 in Athens. Her personal best jump is 6'7".  The LA Times reports that other five-time track and field Olympians include Gail Devers, Carl Lewis, WillyeWhite, Willie Davenport and Jearl Miles-Clark. That's pretty good company.

When she was interviewed last week by a local KRIS-TV sports anchor Drew Collins, Amy had this to say  “A lot of people were making a big deal of going to five (Olympics), but as an athlete, you’re never satisfied. I don’t have that gold medal, so that’s really the desire and the driving factor to win a medal and it’s exciting to have a shot and that opportunity again.” You can watch his interview here.

Women's High Jump Competition begins August 9 and concludes with the medal ceremony on August 11. And, while I'll be cheering for all of Team USA, I'm really pulling for Amy to get a medal. She has worked hard for many years. Maybe this will be her year.

I feel a little bit like Buddy in Elf when they tell him Santa is coming to the department store and he exclaims "Santa! I know him!" It just makes it so much more fun when you actually know someone who's competing.

Being chosen to compete as a representative of your country is such an honor. And, when you think about it, probably more than ninety percent of the Olympians have no hope of actually finishing in the medals. They compete for the sake of competition and for the glory of representing their country.. That's part of what makes it so special.
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.  Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of modern Olympic Games.
Do you enjoy watching the Olympics? What's your favorite event?

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  1. Love that quote there at the bottom. My oldest son was in the same grade as an Olympic hopeful in swimming. she was an amzing girl and it was always fun to see her show up at the public swiming hole in our town. We use to watch Olympics back then, somehow these days I just don't have time for TV.

  2. Bart Connor's mom was my dad's secretary. We were brokenhearted that the US boycotted his olympics. He was classy about it, but to dedicate your WHOLE LIFE to a sport waiting for that one moment, and to have the moment snatched from you. . .

    I'm rooting for Amy!

  3. How exciting for Amy...and for you and your entire town. You know how I feel about sports (per today's post) but I do enjoy the Olympics. More so the winter, maybe because I'm from ski country Colorado, but I love watching the swim competitions in the summer. With the Olympic Training Center located in my city, I have lots to root for, but I've worked with the USA Shooting team, as a proofreader for their publications, so I'm a bit closer to that action as I proofed their entire London 2012 edition. (Which is kind of funny because I'm not a fan of guns at all.) Whatever the sport, GO USA!!

    Thank you for linking up with the GRAND Social!

  4. How fun that you can actual root for someone you know!That really does make it more exciting!

    I'm not a big sports fan either but I watch bits of the Olympic here and there. I enjoy the competitions but I get bit bored when they start in doing the video biographies. Sometimes I just want to see the event! And while I don't swim I love watching the diving competitions!

  5. Now I totally know who I am looking for to cheer on:) Go Amy!! Yes, I am loving this not setting the alarm clock and being able to watch what I want when I want:) Thanks for the visit.

  6. What a great article about Amy....I'll be rooting for her too!

    I always loved watching the gymnastics and diving and then the synchronized swimming is just fascinating to watch...

  7. Good morning, I have awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award, plese see it at