February 16, 2010

Gold Mettle

I love the Olympics. Absolutely love them. It is one event about which I refuse to be even slightly cynical. I think the concept is great and turn into the biggest sports fan when they're on, whether they be of the summer or winter variety. And I'm bound and determined to make sure my kids have every opportunity to catch the Olympic fever. And they're bound and determined to drive me nuts while watching it.

Mia: Did he win the gold medal?
Me: No. He's in ninth place.
Mia: Why?
Me: Because he's eight people behind the leader.
Mia: Why?
Me: Because eight other people have jumped farther than him.
Mia: Why?
Me: I have no idea.
Mia: Will he win the brass medal?
Me: There is no brass medal.
Mia: Why?
Me: Because there isn't.
Mia: Why?
Me: Because the International Olympic Committee isn't as smart as you.
Mia: Why?
Me: I can't say that I have even one tiny clue.
Mia: Where is he from?
Me: He's from our country. America.
Mia: Why?
Me: Mia, that's not a why question.
Mia: Why?

As parents Beth and I are pretty averse to turning on the TV. But when the Olympics are on, all bets are off. Mia and I spent a lot of quality time a couple summers back watching the Olympics. The four of us spent some similar quality time watching the first weekend of Winter Olympic coverage. On Sunday night we TiVoed figure skating. Last night, Mia and I curled up on the couch and watched it. She was amazed. And I have the feeling we're going to be hitting the local skating rink this weekend.

The whole thing is pretty amazing. Just think about it. You're this young athlete and you've decided to spend the better part of your youth or even your life chasing after one thing, being the best at whatever sport it is you've chosen. So you give up a little of your youth, work a few jobs to afford equipment, and you train every spare moment of every day in the hope of performing in front of the world with only a small shot at being recognized with a medal.

Are you watching the Olympics? And on a completely different topic, what did you do for Valentine's day? Are you V-day people or not?

Posted by Chris at February 16, 2010 6:51 AM

I love the Olympics. I wish they showed more of the events and less reporting and commercials, though. Just because an American is not in medal contention, doesn't mean the sport isn't worth watching.

Growing up, ice skating was my favorite. Now, I think it's the thing I care least about. All the other events seem so much more exciting. We were watching the biathlon on Sunday and the announcers were SO into it that it made it really interesting to watch. I also really enjoyed watching the medal ceremony for the first Canadian to win gold at these games... even though it's not my country's anthem, I got goosebumps hearing the entire arena sing "Oh Canada."

Posted by: stephanie at February 16, 2010 8:04 AM


I am a giant Olympic DORK. I count down to the games, watch as many minutes as I can finagle, and cry over all of the amazing stories, the outstanding accomplishments, and the pure JOY of the athletes competing. I'm sorry, but did you see Shannon Bahrke accepting her bronze medal? HOW COULD YOU NOT FALL MADLY IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING THE OLYMPICS MEAN??


Yesterday, after watching Women's Hockey, Mister picked up his stick and started playing in the living room. So Sweetie went down to the basement and cleared a section. The three kids went down and played Team Canada (we caught the Canada Switzerland game yesterday).

As for Valentine's Day? We aren't especially for or against it. I mean, we'll wish each other a Happy Valentine's Day, and we gave Valentine's to the kids, but this year we ate bagels for dinner and watched the Olympics because that's what seemed like fun.

You guys?

Posted by: chatty cricket at February 16, 2010 8:07 AM

Yes we're watching the Olympics - and enjoying this years' version. And Valentines day - quiet - good dinner - and made plans to go out for a belated Valentines Day dinner.

Posted by: cassie-b at February 16, 2010 9:17 AM

oh yeah, I am an Olympics junkie. When I was a kid I wanted to be Peggy Flemming! Oh I even had my Mom sew me a skating dress. Oh yeah, well that dream was unrealized in life, but in my dreams....

Posted by: Maribeth at February 16, 2010 9:33 AM

I can't watch the Olympics. I can't stand the agony of defeat. I just can't. It makes me twitchy and I can't breathe and the anxiety is way too much for me. Weird, huh?

I did nothing for Valentine's Day. Because I suck.

Posted by: k8 at February 16, 2010 9:53 AM

Agree with you; the Olympics rock. And went big for V day this year. Too little sleep in brain to formulate any bigger thoughts.

Posted by: metawizard at February 16, 2010 9:54 AM

I am absolutely watching the Olympics. We are big fans at my house, and the last summer Olympics got us through many long crying-newborn filled nights with our daughter, so it's bringing back lots of fun memories.

We are not V-day people, but did joke all day that everything nice we did for each other was our Valentines gift for the other person. It made for a day full of loving gestures, which may be the very best way to celebrate.

Posted by: Jessie at February 16, 2010 9:57 AM

I love the Olympics too! Winter and summer. But I cannot stand any other sporting stuff, except soccer.
This weekend I had my 2 boys sit with me and watch. My 8yr old figured out to play his Mario/Sonic Winter Olympics DS game while watching. He plays the same sport as is happening at the real Olympics and "competes" like an Olympian. My 3yr old was loving the "moves" of the figure skaters.
For me, I saw the piece on how Apolo Ohno trained for the Olympics. 4 2hr workouts a day. Man, I wish I could train like an Olympian, you know, except for all the running.

Posted by: halle at February 16, 2010 10:11 AM

I'm like you - I'll watch any and every sport during the Olympics. But I've been whoring myself out for beads & dabloons and haven't seen ANY of this year's Olympics yet. I've got to get on that.

Posted by: Kalisa at February 16, 2010 10:13 AM

I have olympic fever. I've watched as much as I can this weekend. And it was amazing to watch a Canadian get the first gold on home soil.

As for V-day what is the point. Why do you have to have a specific day to celebrate your love, shouldn't you be celebrating it every day. It was just another normal Sunday for us.

Posted by: Adi at February 16, 2010 10:20 AM

I live in Vancouver.

No I am not watching any sports events, but I am taking in the ambiance. It is a pretty cool place right now with all the visitors and the atmosphere.

Posted by: jacqueline at February 16, 2010 10:31 AM

oh..my kids with the olympic questions too!

We are HUGE fans around here...and we get to root for both the US AND Canada, so it's double the fun!

Posted by: alimartell at February 16, 2010 10:34 AM

I'm watching some of it and I always watch the opening and closing. I'd watch more if I didn't have to listen to all the conversation and commercials.

Posted by: ann adams at February 16, 2010 11:18 AM

I don't have cable, and as such, don't get *any* channels at all to my tele, so nope, not watching the Olympics.

Valentines day.. I spent the morning wandering around San Francisco shopping with my boss from England, and then we had sushi, and then I took an airplane back to Portland. I was greeted at the airport by my boyfriend with pink roses and chocolates. Then we came home and had dinner and watched a movie, and that was that.

I'm not much of a Valentine's day person, but it's always nice to get flowers ;)

Posted by: Katie at February 16, 2010 11:30 AM

I love the Olympics. I get that from my Mom. I am amazed by figure skating and snowboard cross looks like so much fun. I think even I could do that if there were no one else on the slopes! We stayed up to watch the opening ceremony, which was v. cool. We put the TV on when I get home and watch the events all evening.

For V-day, our friend volunteered to come over and watch all the kids. In fact, only two were in-house on Sunday, so she got off easy. We went to dinner at a new restaurant and saw "Valentine's Day" because it was the only one we wanted to see that was playing in the 21-and-up theater that we love to sit in. Dinner was great, movie was funny and sweet. I gave my hubby a book weight so he doesn't have to struggle with keeping his cookbooks open anymore and he gave me the Dune series, at which I cried, because I love books and no one ever gets me books. We've have a rough time lately and it was really cool that he'd looked up my wish list and actually bought something I didn't even expect. It doesn't seem like much, but it's a step. We also did a lot of yard work this weekend and he helped a lot, which pleased me so overall it was an awesome weekend.

I'm giving up soda and candy for lent, though, so I'm probably about to become a raving bitch and leave all those hearts and rainbows trampled in dust. :-P

Posted by: Brooke at February 16, 2010 11:39 AM

We live just outside of Vancouver, so not only are we watching intently, but we're also planning to head into downtown this Saturday to take in some of the atmosphere. We have been on the edge of our seats waiting for the Canadians to medal in events and when Canada won gold in the moguls on Sunday night I think the entire country must have shifted from the screaming and jumping. It is truly exciting.

Posted by: Procrastamom at February 16, 2010 12:58 PM

I watch as much of the Olympics as I possibly can, which is limited this year by a) my free time and b) NBC's crappy prime-time only coverage.

For Valentine's day, we mail-order pizza from Chicago, get cupcakes for dessert, and then eat it on the couch while wearing comfy pants. It may not be fancy, but it's awesome.

Posted by: Dawn at February 16, 2010 1:03 PM

This is the first year I've actually gotten into the Olympics; my husband's way into them, as is his mom, and since we're all living together for the time being it's kind of majority rule. I actually really dug the moguls, though; so who knows, maybe they're making a fan out of me yet!

Valentine's Day...hmm...did I mention we live with my MIL? Only kidding. I was knocked out with a migraine and daydreaming of a time when eggs benedict would sound appetizing again.

Posted by: mandy at February 16, 2010 1:24 PM

LOVE the Olympics...everything about the Olympics - summer and winter. At the top of my bucket list is to attend an opening and/or closing ceremonies. Watched every last bit of the ceremony on Friday night and practically verklempted the entire time! ;-) Weeped openly when the Georgian team came into the stadium to a standing O and when they called for the moment of silence later on in the ceremony. I get tears in my eyes during medal ceremonies - no matter if it's an American or other country who won! I just LOVE them...everything about them. I want to be an Olympian in my next life!

And yes, I am bringing up Leda that way too! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at February 16, 2010 2:26 PM

I love the Olympics. I can't my daughter to watch though. Her attention span is worse than mine. But I'm enjoying the times I get to sneak a peak at what's going on with them. My sister took my daughter for the night on V-Day and I went along with my BF to his hockey game. And, wow, glad I didn't miss it. There was fighting, a guy taking a puck to the face & he scored two goals. Also, as soon as you said Mia was amazed by the figure skating, I figured you guys were in for a trip for her to check it out!

Posted by: js at February 16, 2010 2:50 PM

Feeling really guilty that we haven't watched one second of it. And Dex is 7, the time now when he will remember it. DOH.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at February 16, 2010 3:14 PM

I'm watching, off and on. It was pretty exciting to see Canada finally get a gold medal on home soil! And I was actually in Vancouver last night, took some pictures and hung out a bit; the atmosphere was very cool.

Posted by: Heather at February 16, 2010 4:28 PM

My family is loving the Olympics. We've headed down to experience the atmosphere once so far, and we'll go again at night.The whole city is buzzing!

Posted by: Lesley at February 16, 2010 7:43 PM

I love the Olympics. I'm not typically much of a sports fan but I do love them. I root for everyone. I am amazed by the abilities of the athletes.

I got yummy chocolates for V-day. We keep it pretty low key around these parts.

Posted by: Annie at February 16, 2010 9:45 PM

No, I haven't been watching this year. I used to in years past though. I loved V-Day pretty much up until this year. I spent it alone in bed with the dog :(

Posted by: Rose at February 16, 2010 10:20 PM

I love the competition and the athletes. I love watching people come up from against all odds and grab that medal that they have worked so hard for, no matter what country they are from. To see China win their first gold in figure skating (pairs) and grab the silver was...AWESOME.

But I do have a piece of advice, Chris. Ignorance really is bliss. If you want to STAY a fan of the Olympics, never live in a venue city because the politics, the marketing, TAXES, unbelievably high price for an event ticket, the price gouging, etc really ruins the entire experience. (I'm from Vancouver)

Posted by: Scatteredmom at February 16, 2010 10:33 PM

I love the Olympics. I am catching bits and pieces via streaming because I have neither cable nor a pair of rabbit ears that works in my condo building (something about soundproofing blocking the signals, or so I'm told).

I'm always weird about Valentine's Day. When I was half of a couple it seemed like no big deal -- surely in a healthy relationship one can have more than one extra-romantic day in a year, yes? -- and now that I'm single, it's just something else to be ignored. So I celebrated Chinese New Year instead. Dumplings and noodles are emotionally neutral.

Posted by: Kat at February 16, 2010 10:44 PM

I love the Olympics! In fact, I went to Vancouver just to take in the atmosphere.

I fully support Mia's dream to land a tripls lutz.

Posted by: Heather at February 17, 2010 7:16 PM