Monday, February 15, 2010

The Real Olympic Spirit

When I was a little kid, I did dream about winning a gold medal. My vision was pretty simple…I constantly replayed the medal ceremonies of both Mary Lou Retton and Tracy Caulkins. It would give me the chills, just thinking about it. I will never forget when Mary Lou "stuck" her landing for the vault to win the overall! Her smile was absolutely unforgettable. As an 11 year old, that seemed like a fairy tale. I didn't dream about myself in that position all that much. The idea of being an Olympian is what motivated me. The idea of wearing my USA swim cap and walk in the Opening ceremonies. I loved the thought of representing my country. That made me feel very proud! Being here at the games now makes me feel that way again. It is amazing how emotional I still get when I watch the Opening ceremonies or when I see these wonderful athletes compete. There are times when I am walking down the stroll here in the Whistler Village and I find myself with a huge smile on my face because I feel so lucky to be here to witness the action. That feeling is what I call "the Olympic spirit". And I think I caught it. For a solid 17 days, there will be so much action day and night. Every where we go, we will see the rings and hear the live feed. It is all over the village. Already medals have been handed out and athletes are beginning to fulfill their dreams. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be handed out…but it goes way beyond that. Just to compete here is, for many, the icing on the cake and I LOVE that. Sure, many will be bummed if they don't bring home a medal but there will be several athletes that consider making the games the ultimate achievement. I know one thing, my family will be cheering for everyone…and maybe even a little bit louder for those who are pulling up the rear! Go Olympians…be proud!

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