BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Olympics, I Will Miss You

Thanks to the marvels of modern tv services, I was just able to watch the entire figure skating gala to round out the winter Olympics, and it was terrific. Now I’m looking forward to tonight’s closing ceremonies with a twinge of melancholy.

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Each Olympic season I do this. I watch these athletes from around the world compete in these athletic events that boggle my mind. For the short period of time they’re on tv, I start to think of myself as a bit of an expert in this or that, but really I have no idea what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t know an under-rotation if it bit me in the butt, but I sit on my couch nodding along with the commentators as if I’m a seasoned pro.

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I also become a homegrown “expert” on an athlete or two during that time. No, I hadn’t heard of him or her before three weeks ago, but what’s your point? I “know” them now, dammit. So, yes, Adam Rippon is one of my new besties, at least in my mind.

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I love seeing the athletes who surprise us, like Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecka who won Olympic gold not only in snowboarding, but in skiing too. I love seeing the underdogs become champions. I love how the training and hard work pays off for many of these athletes, and I love how so many of them are seemingly there just to compete and have a good time. Good for all of them.

I respect anyone who puts in the work to become an Olympian. Congratulations to them all.


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From Last to First

LAR7146dc_28NAT378_OLYMPICS_2018_XCTY_M_SKIA_.jpgSo did you see the cross country skier from Norway? The one who fell down almost immediately after the start of the 18 mile or so race he was competing in at the Olympics? The one who apparently banged his head on the way down?

Yeah, that guy. His name is Simen Krueger, and he ended up at the end of the pack, as in dead last. Too bad, right? His Olympic hopes and dreams shattered after he’d barely begun. A shame. Only it wasn’t. Why? He got up. He got up and got going. And he kept going. And going, and going, kind of like the Energizer Bunny, but in the freezing cold, on skis, uphill.

Not only did this guy finish the race, he finished first. And not just barely, either. There was nobody behind him, at least not right behind him. So there’s a lesson, kids. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t decide that you’re finished when you’ve barely begun, even if you do have a setback. Even a major setback.

That guy’s my hero. Congratulations, team Norway, you’ve got a real champion.

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Olympic Dedication

I’ve really been enjoying the Sochi Winter Games. As I’ve been doing all sorts of  home improvement projects, I’ve caught several different events. Some of these I didn’t even know existed, and others I had heard of, but knew nothing about. It’s been entertaining and educational.1392288808000-USP-Olympics-Freestyle-Skiing-Men-s-Ski-Slopestyl-010

Watching these Olympics has also made me wonder how it is that Olympians get started. How does someone wake up one day and decide that they’re going to train to be an Olympic skeleton racer, or an Olympic ice dancer? People don’t have ski jumps in their backyards, do they? They don’t have luge courses or mogul hills down the street, right? So somewhere along the way these athletes were introduced to these sports and they began training. I understand figure skating and hockey, snowboarding and downhill skiing, but some of those other sports really puzzle me. How exactly do you begin your short track racing career, or your training in the sport of curling? You just pack a bag and head off to bobsled camp? Enroll in slope style academy?  I just don’t know.

In all of the sports, it is clear that the athletes are dedicated and most of them, in my opinion, are fearless. They take incredible risks in order to perform at their peak. Many of them risk life and limb, literally, in order to beat the clock and the competition. They have a fire and dedication that I can’t help but admire, even if I don’t understand it.

I love that every two years we check in on the athletes of the world, and every four years we revisit our favorite events and learn about new ones. I also love that the athletes show us that hard work and dedication do pay off. That’s a message that we can’t  hear often enough.