Olympic Memories

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I have an obsession.

A complete and utter Olympic sized obsession with…the Olympics. Specifically, the Summer Olympics.

From the time that I was a very little girl, when the Olympic Games were on, I wanted to be watching them. I remember playing outside with some of the kids in the neighborhood on summer days, and telling them that I needed to go inside because my mom wanted me…but really I just wanted to be inside watching the competitions. Swimming, Diving, Gymnastics. When those events were on, I was glued to my TV.

I was going to be an Olympian. The gymnastics classes that I took at the age of 3 are ingrained in my memory. Jumping into the foam pit, performing on the low balance beam, cartwheels, and somersaults. I loved it. But it was pricey. Really pricey. After a year, we switched to Ballet. And that didn’t work out either. As I got older, I wished for Olympic Cheerleading. Which has yet to happen. But it will. These days, cheerleaders are hardcore.

Of course, as I got older, my knowledge of the games grew and I no longer focused solely on my mother’s favorite events. While they remain my choice events, I’ve expanded my joy into the entire 17 day journey.

In college, I got my roommates super into the games. “Family bonding nights” included dinner, drinking, and making fun of *Insert non-American team here*. We really loved the super tall Russian gymnast, who never broke a smile. We created a whole personality surrounding this woman and re-named our alter-ego of her.

“Olga” was a beast. She never smiled. She never had any inflection in her voice. And we would often use our “Olga” voice during Romance Novel Theater (in which we, the roommates, would verbalize the naughty bits in trashy romance novels performance-style. Usually it was Pat Piper and me…with Pat playing the part of the female lead, and me playing the part of the dude.) The Viking (the boyfriend of my other best friend and roommate, Sheila) and I bonded over Olga, and I’m pretty sure he still remembers her fondly.

During the last Olympic summer, I obsessed even more. If I wasn’t somewhere where there was a TV, I wasn’t happy. I required Olympic coverage morning until night. Lombard had just built its first Buffalo Wild Wings, and I was there ALL. THE. TIME. Not for the food, but for the multiple TVs. And the company. Flaherty’s had just closed, and I needed a home bar. B-Dubs worked for a while. No matter where I was that year, I was falling asleep to the late night Olympic Coverage. It was great.

This year is no different. I’ve gotten my current roommate into the games as well. We’re even attempting a cook-around-the-world feat. Saturday night was Greek Night. Last night, there were tasty homemade tamales courtesy of the fabulous roommate. An exciting time, I hope you enjoy it as well. I leave you with this chant…USA! USA! USA!

To start the festivities, just as the Greeks started the Olympics: Greek Night at our house.

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