I’ve spent the last two weeks lost in the past while staring at the present. Does that ever happen to you?
The past – basically – two weeks have been the 2014 Winter Olympics. Living where I deal with snow every winter and having lived where the snow can be even more than it is here, winter games always have held a special place for me. Top that with the fact that hockey is a favorite sport of mine and cross country skiing should be a national pastime (talk about an obesity buster) in the US, I cannot not watch the Winter Games.
I remembered, vividly this morning, seeing Jean Claude Killy skiing during the 1968 Winter Games. He took three Alpine skiing golds that year. I had the biggest crush on him. Why would I remember that this morning, you may ask? Because he is an IOC member and handed out the silver and gold medals in men’s ice hockey.
I am still inexplicably drawn to speed skating. I cannot fathom why it is now an indoor sport. I expect every speed skating course to be like the oval in Lake Placid where I worshiped Eric Heiden as he sped around that outdoor oval.
I have vivid memories of my father’s town’s high school band playing at the medal ceremony one evening. The ceremonies were held on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid in 1980.
I remember that first trip to Athlete’s Village to work food service. Even with the village being turned into a minimum security prison post-Olympics, it was a beautiful place.
I remember thinking Lake Placid was like an Alpine village. Streets were closed down. People just wondered through town.
Some day I will get back to a Winter Games. I will be a spectator again. I will not work at these next games I go to but will watch, as many events as I can.