It’s time for a stroll down memory lane. I took this stroll last night. I was watching some Olympic coverage on NBC. I have to admit I try hard to not watch NBC coverage. I find Canadian coverage much better for actually covering the sports. NBC is lacking, missing events, doing a lot of human interest stories. I am a person who studies the human condition but occasionally I just want to watch an event.
So, after all that, I am left to talk about the stroll down memory lane that Al Michaels of NBC took me on. You see, in 1980, on February 22, the US Hockey team beat Russia in Lake Placid, NY. Where was I? In Lake Placid! I was at the game and in the streets afterwards. The victory was amazing and seeing Michaels talking with Eruzione, Craig and Johnson in the arena that the event occurred in took me back there. Also, the shots of Michaels walking down the streets of Lake Placid, those streets fairly empty at the time they filmed, made me remember those two weeks in 1980 when there was no traffic on those streets. Okay, so there were shuttles but regular traffic did not come through town.
I remember thinking that Lake Placid was what I thought a small Alps village should be like – a lot of people milling around and not a lot of traffic. The big events were outside of town, although the furthest away was probably downhill skiing at Whiteface which is about 15 miles from the village. The speed skating was outdoors. I don’t remember it ever being held on an outdoor oval since Lake Placid. The bobsled and luge runs at Mt Van Hoevenburg were just outside of the village as you head towards Ray Brook and the Olympic Village.
I was a college student at Paul Smith’s College during the Winter Games in Lake Placid in 1980. I did a stint working food service at Olympic Village. I don’t recall any McDonald’s being served. I also did a stint working housekeeping on campus where we had new dorms built that housed telecommunications professionals during the Olympics.
I have been sold on the Winter Games ever since 1980. I always liked ice skating before that but it was not until I saw events in real life that I became a true fan. I wished fervently that I had had the money to go to Salt Lake City in 2002. I also toyed with trying to go to Vancouver this year. It is just not in the cards yet but some day I will get back to things that I truly love and will go to another Winter Olympic Games.