We are a few days into the 2014 Olympics in Sochi Russia. Unless you have been under a rock for a while it would be unlikely that you did not know that this spectacle was going on. And if you are in the United States, well I assume you have grown accustom to the fact that most of your television shows that you would be watching have been replaced with ice skating, ski jumping and speed skating!
Although Sochi was not in the cards for me (even though I am dying to go to Russia!) I was fortunate enough to go to the Vancouver Olympic Games 4 years ago. The realization of it being 4 years ago is shocking. I can not believe it was that long ago. Time flies when you are drinking beer!
My obsession with the Olympics started long ago. When I was in the fourth grade our local newspaper asked my elementary class what we wanted to be when we grew up. Unlike the typical answers of astronaut or fireman I said “I want to be a ski instructor in Whitefish Montana and win an Olympic gold medal in skiing”. It was oddly specific for a 9-year-old but I guess even then I was a planner.
As I got older my mom put me on the swim team and I spent many years swimming in competitions around the Northwest. I let go of my hopes of winning a gold medal in skiing and focused on winning a gold medal in swimming. You may be thinking to yourself “have I ever heard of Brittany?”in regards to my swimming or skiing fame. Fear not your memory is not gone. You have in fact not heard of me. Although I had big hopes for the Olympics, the only way I would be going to the Olympics would be by paying for a ticket and attending them.
When Vancouver won the host city for the 2010 Olympics my heart skipped a beat and my friend Jen and I decided we would go. Vancouver is a short distance from our home state of Idaho and it was a great opportunity to take advantage of such an amazing event so close to our home.
You will need to dismiss the fact that I missed the 1988 Calgary Olympics and the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, both of which are also close to my home state. I am not really upset about the 1988 Olympics. I mean what was I suppose to do? It was not like I could drive myself to Canada, score some tickets and go to the games. I was 7 years old. The Salt Lake Olympics on the other hand. I was of driving age, had a stable job that would have funded my tickets and apparently did not realize that 12 years in to the future I could kick myself for not going.
Although our time was short in Vancouver, Jen and I had a great time. The energy in the city was electric with people from all over the world there to support their teams, their country and the spirit of the Olympics.
What I love most about the Olympics is the opening ceremonies. Yes they are cheesy and usually provide some sort of weird back history of the host nation shown through dance and music that leaves you questioning what the hell you are watching. But for a brief moment the disagreements between certain countries are washed away as athletes walk out into the stadium. They carry their country’s flag with pride and hope. It brings a sense of community to the people and the world. There is a lot of BS that goes on in the world and for 18 days every two years the games unite us.
I wish all the teams and countries good luck in these 2014 games. I hope for another exciting face off in the Men’s Hockey between Team USA and Team Canada! Sorry Team Russia, as I you know have high hopes for the Gold and I do love Ovechkin but the rivalry between Team USA and Team Canada is an exciting one. If they get matched up at these games you will have to watch my twitter feed to see who I’m rooting for 🙂 I might surprise you!
Be sure to come back Thursday of this week as I will continue to share my trip rewind of the Vancouver Olympics!
Have you attended the Olympics? What was your experience? Drop me a line in the comments.