And now, a word from the ski bunny

LT & Arah at Alta

“Ski Bunny” is Not an Insult

Here we are on the day those games start. The opening ceremonies will be televised in 2.5 hours, and I’m planning on playing a board game with my husband, instead, at that time.

These are the things that get me excited about the 2012 London Games:

  • News that Squaw Valley may put their hat in the ring for an upcoming winter games (it appears that the USOC has retracted that bid. Pewp.)
  • The sustainable stadium
  • The Universal Tea Machine
  • The photo booth in London where it looks like Olympians had access to some pretty silly punk wigs
  • Nike’s “rule book” for athlete attire
  • London! My first, main interest in that town was as a teenager, and as such, I was interested in the fashion and shopping. Plus the music. Didn’t all the good bands in the 1980s come from the UK?

So, I’m not much of a summer Olympics fan. That may change when rugby sevens gets into it, next round. But I do get very excited about the winter games. This preference of mine may be due to the fact that downhill skiing was the first sport at which I had any skill (and it remains one of the few). Or perhaps it’s due to one or more of the following: skiing is just so darn much fun; it was something our whole family did together; I loved those trips and even the ski bus that got me up at 5:30 on winter Saturdays; or because I just love the view and the smell of the air when I am right in the middle of a chair lift ride (at least, when it’s not raining or my fingers are not about to break off from frostbite).

It took awhile for me to become an Olympics fan: my mom is a HUGE fan of the Olympics. She would spend the better part of each games period in tears from the excitement and drama, and I never understood that well of emotions. We’d look at her like there was something seriously wrong with her, but we did grasp that it was important.

I did start to grasp it, finally, in my rugby life, when I got a tiny feel (through rounded metal cleats) of the steps on the incredibly long road to greatness. After learning the game and having some semi-competitive fun with it in college, I played at a very competitive level, for the Twin Cities Amazons rugby team. Drama is: working hard for many, many months, over many years, to be strong, to be fast, and to be smart, and to win. To fight battles with a team. To love the victories, and to hate, or at least greatly dislike, the defeats. To work through it, to make strategies, to see them play out, or not. Oof, it takes it out of you, but it also puts it into you.

After a few years of that, I started to cry when hearing really dramatic stories of athletes. Even those who play other sports.

Shortly thereafter, Mom, my brother and I went to the winter games in Salt Lake City and had a wonderful time, enjoying the opening ceremonies as well as six other events. I’m sure it’s something else entirely to an athlete or someone more closely involved with a team, but it was still amazing to take part in it, as a spectator, and as a citizen of the host country. The energy on those buses to events, in the bleachers (brrr), on downtown streets, and in the home of our friends there in Salt Lake was strong, good, and inspiring.

So, yay! London. I’m sure I’ll catch some of NBC’s coverage. Danny Boyle is, after all, directing the opening fêtes.

Serendipitously, I’m celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Amazons team, with the team this weekend. I’m looking forward to calling up and sharing some great memories with some old friends.