Olympic Afterglow

He looked up at me, and asked, “Um, who do you want me to make it out to?”

There he was. Just three feet away from me. Seated at a table signing posters. Greg Louganis. The most decorated diver in Olympic history.

Well,” I replied, “would you mind saying something like, “To DeeDee, Thanks for the wonderful evening.”

Blink blink.

Allrightythen.” And he did.

Okay, he didn’t say “allrightythen.” But, I’m sure he thought it. I’m sure he also thought, “this girl doesn’t get out much.”

Which would be beside the point.

The year was 1986. Ish. I found myself working at the same convention that Greg Louganis was promoting, well, whatever Olympic divers promote. Bottled water, I suppose.

I still have that poster. Neatly wrapped up in a cylinder along with my vintage Tom Selleck poster. (No, I never met him, just ended up with the poster.) The word you might be searching for to describe me in the 80’s, would be LOSER.

Greg Louganis was my only brush with Olympic greatness. Well. I did get to see the Olympic torch when a local newscaster ran through downtown Burbank carrying it during the summer of the 1996 Olympics. Which, if the truth be told, made me tear up. But then, so does a good Hallmark commercial.

I remember watching my first olympics in 1972. I was mesmerized by a tiny pixie girl with pig tails, named Olga Korbut. And I remember seeing her breakdown and weep after an event. I thought to myself, crybaby.

Because I hadn’t yet cultivated the empathy gene.

And as much as I loved to watch her, I didn’t want to be a gymnast. Miss America, yes, but gymnast, no.

Not even Nadia could woo me in the 1976 olympics.

I think that, even then, I instinctively knew that my spaghetti arms and legs would never sustain me on a two inch beam. Or six inch. Whatever. And then you have that leotard giving you a wedgie on National TV. Um, pass.

I have circles under both eyes from staying up much too late to watch the Olympics with my girls this week. Emme cannot decide if she wants to be Shawn Johnson (the pint sized gymnast), or Michael Phelps (the AMAZINGLY AWESOME UNBELIEVABLE swimmer), or Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball).

I’ll give her a clue. Since she’s going to hit 6 feet tall by the time she’s 14, gymnastics are out. And who could compete with those tiny Chinese gymnasts anyway. Which btw, if they are really 16, I will eat my own underwear.

Just sayin’.

Beach volleyball is a NO because, HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE SWIMSUITS THEY WEAR? She’d be picking sand out of places that sand should never be.

I think her best bet is swimming. Fiddledaddy was a swimmer. And she will be long and lean. And the swimsuits are flattering. While I’m on the subject, I’m so glad that the swimmers no longer have to worry about losing their speedos when they dive in. Way to cover up. Can I hear an amen?

At any rate. A whole weeks worth of nail biting has nearly done me in. I watched the men’s Swim Relay at 5:00 Sunday morning. A stunning victory. That Mrs. Phelps should be awfully proud of her baby boy.

I hope I can sustain that kind of grace as I sit in the bleachers at the 2020 games, watching my sweet girl don a swim cap and goggles. Although, keeping the cameras unknowingly trained on Mrs. Phelps as she applied her lip balm, for 30 seconds, was excessive. Even by Olympic standards.

So, what was you very favorite event? I have to say that mine was the swimming.

August 18, 2008

23 Responses to Olympic Afterglow

  • Umm well we are looking foward to the scrynoized swimming and Tae Kwon Do. Regular swimming and gymnastics this week have been fun to watch, but the olympics are not over yet. 🙂

  • Dee Dee – I may need an Olympic intervention or at the least a gentle weaning. I love the swimming and gymnastics – and what about those Jamaican runners!

    I rubbed my shoulder in church yesterday and my husband looked at me with questioning eyes. I mouthed “swimming injury”. I think I threw out my rotator cuff during that last swim relay. Debbie Phelps is one smart mama. ADHD moms of the world should take notice.

  • Mine was the women’s marathon. Totally awesome to see a 38 year old woman win! Gives me something to shoot for for 2012! (not)

  • I’m a Phelps Phanatic! And seriously, let the woman put on some lip balm. Sheesh. That was ridiculous. I’m so into Olympics right now that my hubby came upstairs to find me watching Sports Center, because they had some stories on previous Olympians.

  • Oh yes, the swimming phenom Phelps!! I’m sad that he’s done for this games. But gymnastics is right up there too. I too need a weaning after these weeks. My TV stays in the closet 360 days out of a year, but during the Olympics, it’s on every time I’m in the house. : ) Go USA!!!

  • Amen on the more modest swimsuits! I wish the beach volleyball girls could dress like their guy counterparts. Those teensy suits are just ridiculous.

    The swimming and gymnastics are my favorites. Loved watching Dara Torres and Jason Lezak and Michael Phelps make history!

  • I love the girls’ gymnastics. I wanted to put a couple of those poor little girls in my pocket and bring them home after they fell and lost medals.

    (Just in case, you may want to stock up on edible underwear. They make it. It’s pretty much like a fruit roll up. Not telling how I know.)

  • Yeah, really, WHAT is up with those suits the volleyball gals wear? Good grief.
    Anyways, I have probably watched all of 3 minutes total of the Olympics. Sigh. I am so uncool.

  • I am the girlfriend of Michael Phelps! He wanted me to thank ya’ll for your kind words! =)

    I *Heart* him and have lost countless hours of sleep cheering him on from my big blue chair!!!

    P.S. Please don’t tell my husband. Ahem.

  • I totally agree with the whole lip balm incident. Just glad that’s all she was doing. I have been really impressed with Dara Torres. My nephew (18) kept commenting on how close she was to death as he looked at me (39). It really is amazing what you can do if you really want it.

  • I’m more into the Winter games but have loved watching swimming and gymnastics both men and women. I’m with you DeeDee, no way those girls are 16. I hate when they have the camera in their faces after a disappointing routine.
    Also, AMEN to Kim about Michael Phelps mother. Way to take all that energy and focus it in a positive way. And what a great person to have your kids look up to.

  • Amen, but could the swimsuit designer talk to the volleyball designer? PLEASE! I can’t let my boys watch, my face turns red!

  • So glad to know I’m not the only happily married lady who has a HUGE crush on Michael Phelps. I swoon!! I’ve DVRd everything he’s done, I hit record the second I see them start to show clips or interviews. 🙂 My friends are laughing at me.

    I’ve loved it all. I’m NOT a sports junkie normally and my husband is shocked and amazed that it’s all I’ve watched. All day, every day and I DVR when I’m not here. I’m learning the rules of water polo, find 2 1/2 hour marathons fascinating and can judge a routine on the uneven bars with the best of them. I love it all, but swimming, diving, gymnastics & beach volleyball have been my favorite. Looking forward to more equestrian coming on this week!!

    What will we do when it’s over??

  • I too have HUGE circles under my eyes from the countless hours of sitting in front of the t.v. I wonder how amazing I would look and feel if I put as much effort into actually getting in shape as I have cheering on from my living room. My favorite event was the Women’s Marathon. Incredible!

  • I am seven months preggers and not sleeping well, so it’s perfect timing for me. I just stare with my deer in headlights look for hours and avoid the informercials I watched at this stage with my daughter.

    As far as the chinese girls. No freaking way. Not only will I eat my underwear, but I will even eat my hubbies. Even if they are dirty.

    Angie
    http://www.moresugarthanspice.com

  • I’m am so not into sports but I just can’t seem to help myself from watching the Olympics. My husband even gave me a funny look when I started yelling at the TV when Michael Phelps was in his last meet to just keep going.

    I think my favorite so far is watching the swimming. I second the comment on…what are we going to do when it’s over??? I haven’t a clue 🙂

  • I, personally, was LOVING the gymnastics – men’s and women’s! My oldest son asked me if he could do that (referring to the still rings), and I told him “Sure!” So, he proceded to try…on the carpet. Go figure 5-year-old logic.

    And…I’ll eat my underwear WITH you if those girls really are 16!

  • I decided not to watch this Olympics, not even the opening or closing ceremonies, because of China’s forced abortions and persecution, imprisonment, and torture of Christians. Am I the only one?

  • Okay, so far the best Olympic moment – in my opinion – was the men’s 4×100 swim relay. (Michael Phelps is an amazing athlete)

    However, I have circle under my eyes from staying up til 2:30 am watching the US Women’s Softball team. They have score something like 12 or 13 home runs already and just finished the prelimiary rounds.

    Those women are amazing!!

    What makes no sense is that I am also DVRing (is that a word?) the games for my little Miss M (daughter) to watch as she is a softball player. Go figure!

    Go USA!!

    And I will also eat my shorts if those Chinese girls are 16!

  • OH! Greg Louganis! I was just (sounding like an old geezer) telling the Greg Louganis story to my boys the other day.

    And I’m a total Olympic addict, and have been glued to the TV since they started. Gymnastics, swimming, trampolining, you name it. Oh! And the silly sprinting. Figure skating is tops in the winter Olympics.

  • Olympic viewing has caused jet lag in our house.

  • I join you all as an Olympic junkie! Your post made me laugh out loud. You are describing me. My husband gives up at 11:30PM and I stay up until I fall asleep on the couch! Sigh! I go back to teaching tomorrow…DVR is my friend! Go USA! Oh, and those girls are definitely NOT 16! And what’s up with the tiebreaker story in uneven bars????

  • I did gymnastics growing up so it will always have a special spot in my heart and I MUST watch it during the Olympics. I also swam in high school for a year, so I love to watch the swimming (and diving – it’s like a mix!), too.