I love the Olympics. I love them so much, I have to watch them every night they’re on. So for the last two weeks, I didn’t get anything else done in the evenings. Just lounged in front of the TV and vegged out. There’s just something about the drama, the human emotion of striving for one single goal and attaining it. Or not. The anguish. Frustration. My heart rate elevates every time I watch a short-track speedskating race.
I think my fascination started when I beat out 800 other kids around the nation to be on the Junior Development Team for USA Luge. My Dad worked for one of the luge team’s sponsors so he heard about the try-outs they were holding in one of the hillier city parks. They had a set of start handles and a ramp off the back of a pick up truck at the top of a big hill. Hay bales littered the course and you were supposed to steer around them, all the while keeping a low profile, head down, legs stiff, toes pointed. I made the cut and was invited to Lake Placid for further testing. Staying in the Olympic Training Center was awesome for a 13 year old. The best part was my own swipe card that led to an amazing cafeteria that was totally free. Mmmm.
After a few more training camps, and a few more cuts, I found myself one of six teens picked to continue training. I got to compete in the Empire State Games and the National Championships.
So you can understand I hold a special place in my heart for the winter Olympics.