In the summer of 1996, I was in Hawaii visiting family. But instead of going to the beach, I was riveted to the television, watching the “Magnificent Seven” women’s gymnastics team take the gold for Team USA. I still remember every girl on that team (Dominique Moceanu’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia” floor routine, Shannon Miller on beam, Dominique Dawes on uneven bars to name my favorites). And who could forget Kerri Strug on vault, sticking a landing on one foot to support her teammates and go for that medal? Remember Bela Karolyi?
This year, I was once again glued to the TV screen watching women’s gymnastics. To see Jordyn Wieber’s heartbreaking failure to qualify for the all-around (her teammates who did are just as deserving, though it is hard to see anyone so disappointed), then to see her rally in the team finals to help the USA bring home their second Team Gold? THE OLYMPICS MAKE ME CRY EVERY TIME! SO HAPPY!
Plus, if you’re like me, as an American you totally get bragging rights for athletic accomplishments that are entirely not your own. Vicarious athleticism!
I don’t watch sports on TV. But every two years, when the Olympics are televised, I watch sports I’d never paid attention to before. And if you combine the amount of time I spend watching those Olympics, it’s probably the same amount of time I spent watching sports during the two in-between years combined.
I’m not the only one, right?
P.S. TOTALLY makes me feel ancient that none of this year's gymnasts on the team were old enough to remember the 1996 Olympics. Yikes!