Another Torch Song –

I’m not a sports fan. I will watch the occasional game for fun, if it’s a social event, but I just never sit and watch sports by myself. I’m not anti-sport. I played AYSO soccer, and I swam in high school. I love to play, but just watching doesn’t do it for me- until they light that torch, and then I’m hypnotized.

I love the Olympics. I love them unquestioningly and slavishly. After two weeks of watching the skiers, the skaters and the sledders, I’m not sure I can really let go. I could compare my hours in front of the set with any first-class couch potatoes, struggling to keep my eyes open, watching until late hours just to listen to Bob Costas telling me the men’s luge is coming up next. I’ve watched more television commercials in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years, just for the delight of watching ice dancing. I loathe commercials, but I didn’t care. It was wonderful.

To watch these athletes is just inspiring. I love to see individuals performing at the height of their powers. The discipline, the strength, and determination that brought them to this exclusive contest fills me with admiration. When people get out the cliché “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” I think that everyone who competes deserves a medal. Of course, they all have dozens, if not hundreds, of competitive awards already behind them. Olympic gold is the ultimate.

I suppose some of my passion dates back to 1984. To have the Olympics in Los Angeles was a unique moment in time. I had just moved into my little house in Venice, and two of my brothers were sharing an apartment in Santa Monica. Between the three of us, we thought we had it staked out. In fact, we did. Every day was another event, another reason to party, another group of friends around the television set, cheering for our favorites. If we weren’t out in the crowds, we were in front of a screen, hooting and hollering with happiness. It was a two week long Mardi-Gras.

My favorite was the women’s marathon, and I had claimed a spot on the corner of Windward and Pacific to watch the runners as they passed. Cheers came up the street like a wave, and followed down the road away from us. Then there was a shift in the momentum. The runners had gone, and we were all still standing, just looking. The confetti fluttered to the street, and people wandered away, back to find a tv set and waited for the end of the race.

All good things must come to an end, and so the Olympics close. I was very happy that Canada got to win such a nice bunch of medals. I was pleased to see all the snow, and the spinning sequins on the skater’s costumes. I am very good friends with all of the couch cushions. It is with great relief I put the remote control back in the basket, and realize I will not have to watch another commercial for at least two more years.

Then we’ll have LONDON!!!

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