Thursday, February 18, 2010
On Being An Olympic Underachiever
Tonight while I was watching the men's skating I distinctly remember watching these type of events as a kid and thinking "What's the big idea, I could totally do that" (I was really good at spinning around and not getting dizzy). Remember when you were little and you thought "I wonder when I'm going to get MY gold medal?" Not a matter of "if," but "when." Turns out I wasn't the only one. The longer I watch the Canadian coverage of the Olympics, the more former classmates I see in the standings. I went to elementary school with 3 Olympians. How funny is that? We all survived french immersion together. I'm starting to feel like a real Olympic underachiever. And there's the French Immersion/Quebec factor again. Have you noticed how many Canadian Olympians are francophone? I'm sensing a relationship between complicated grammar and athletic prowess. But that brings me to the question - what's my problem? Why aren't I an Olympian. I'll mull this one over and get back to you on that.
But let's talk about my current favorite Olympian - Maelle Ricker. I got goose bumps when I watched Maelle Ricker receive her gold medal for the women's snowboarding cross for Canada. This was a very fun moment because Maelle and I went to elementary and high school school together, though I didn't get to know her until grade 11 when we played on the basketball team together. Maelle has got to be the nicest, hardest working person ever. This kind of success could not have been given to a more deserving person. I'm so proud of her. When the competition started I was just casually telling people "I know her!" which slowly built up to an emphatic "I totally know her!" which preceded an enthusiastic "We were like TOTALLY FRIENDS!" and finally a slightly hysterical, "She was practically in my wedding!"
She was never in my wedding. But our last interaction was so typical of Maelle. We ran into each other at 7-11 in the winter of 1996 (am I old?) and she said "Hey - come up to Whistler I'll teach you how to snowboard" and I was like, "Thanks, but I'm just so super busy." Isn't that the lamest story ever? I assure you that she would never remember this. She is just so nice that she would just offer things like this - time, skills, etc. to an old friend and leave a lasting impression on an Olympic underachiever like me. I love it when good people are rewarded for their success - like all is well in the Olympic world.
I guess I'll just have to keep figuring out what Olympic sport is mine (my thighs would indicate speed skating, but my buoyancy leans more toward ski jumping. Decisions, decisions).
*I'll post some pictures when I return home from this magical Olympic land.