Greetings from Vancouver, Gentle Readers!
O.K. I'm not there in body, but in spirit - you bet! I am lovin' the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
If you've never been to British Columbia and you have the opportunity to travel there, then by all means, go go go! I have visited Vancouver and Victoria more than once and loved it every time. Beautiful parks, amazing gardens, nice restaurants, great shopping, lovely scenery, and I have never met an unfriendly Canadian.
I have been in love with the Winter Olympics for quite some time. I prefer them to the summer games. Maybe it's because they seem a bit smaller and more intimate to me and I just like looking at people who are capable of sliding around on the ice and the snow more than I do people running around a dry track in circles.
My first Winter Olympics memory - and I was scarcely more than a toddler - is of Peggy Fleming skating at the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France. She brought home the only gold won by the U.S. during those games.
There she was in her sweet little green costume that her mom sewed for her. Peggy epitomized beauty and grace. I was in love.
We weren't a family that gathered around the television to watch the games so I'm surprised that I even got to see Peggy. But I got a great gift from God that year.
I happened to be alone in our living room with the barely watchable black and white TV. I'm amazed we got the right channel because most of the time we only got one. That night I saw Peggy skate to gold, all by myself, in peace and quiet - something that was rare in our house.
Many, many years later my husband and I went to a tour of champions ice show and Peggy performed. She didn't do the big jumps like the Mexican jumping bean kids, but she was still just as beautiful and graceful, and I would guess she was 40+ years old.
All Peggy had to do was pose on the ice wearing her skates and she represented perfection.
Then in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1976, who didn't love Dorothy Hamill? That cute hair cut, the Hamill Camel, and she was kinda sensitive. She was known for rushing off in tears occasionally. Well if she cried the night of the long program, they must have been tears of joy. Gold for Dorothy!
And how about the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid? We watched with our first child inside of me. MIRACLE ON ICE! The only time I've ever been fascinated by ice hockey. And don't forget Eric Heiden and his five gold medals in speedskating. Man, that guy had some legs on him.
I have also enjoyed some men's figure skating. Scott Hamilton comes immediately to mind. He won gold in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, in 1984. How sad it is now to see the ruins of the Olympic sites there.
We also saw Scott skate in Stars on Ice, which our children were old enough to attend. He did his famous back flip, but I think the most exciting moment of the night came after all the stars were introduced and did their opening number.
The 1992 games in Albertville, France, had just been held.
The arena went dark.
I saw a young man on the ice through the darkness. His presence had not been announced, but I immediately knew who it was. I whispered to my son, "It's Paul Wylie."
And then Scott Hamilton introduced Paul and the crowd went wild.
Paul was a great favorite of ours who just never seemed to quite make it. He was a close but no cigar kind of skater. In fact, he had skated so poorly prior to the Olympics that some silly people questioned his presence on the team.
But we knew he could do it. Paul, we had faith in you. Paul went to Albertville and in a stunning upset won the silver medal. We were so proud.
Well, I could go on and on and maybe I will in another post, but that's enough reminiscing for today. Don't tell me who won medals last night. I record the games with my close personal friend DVR and then watch them the next evening so I don't have to put up with commercials.
I do have some questions though.
Why are most male figure skaters said to reach their peak at 25 - 26 years of age, while the "women" so often look like little kids barely out of diapers? Remember Tara Lipinsky?
And when in the hell are you people - and you know who you are - going to stop reminding Lindsey Jacobellis and the rest of the world that she ONLY won silver in snowboard cross during the 2006 games in Torino? Quitcher dumping on Lindsey.
And why is Bode Miller named Bode? Is it his real name? Is it a nickname? And if you are Bode's parents, what in hell led you to name him Bode?
Keep up the great work Canada.
Dumped First Wife