I am loving everything Olympics right now. I have been loving the Olympics for 30 years and this love runs deep. The first Olympics I remember are the 1988 Olympics. I was 7 and those stars caught my attention. As a swimmer, Janet Evans was my big summer idol! I loved to watch her swim and her poster hung on my wall. At the time, my dream was to be an Olympic swimmer and she was my inspiration. This swimming pin was just the beginning of my Olympic love.
In the winter, Debbie Thomas and Bonnie Blair were the ladies that I most remember cheering for. My family had such Olympic figure skating fever that we went to the Campbell’s Soup Champions on Ice tour to see Debbie Thomas, Scott Hamilton, Rosalynn Sumners, and Brian Orser. It was absolutely amazing!!
I kept swimming and dreaming of being an Olympian, so in 1992 the Barcelona Olympics were a high priority. Janet was still swimming, Matt Biondi was back to swim again, and Summer Sanders joined them. I added another poster to my wall with the 3 of them and I couldn’t get enough.
Then, in 1994 something wonderful happened. The Winter Olympics changed their year and now I only had to wait 2 years between Olympic Games. It was like the International Olympic Committee was saying, “Sarah, we are thinking about you and don’t think you should have to wait four years for more Olympic excitement”. Dear IOC, THANK YOU!! I appreciate your consideration! Some may think that having the Olympics every 2 years may dull my excitement, but those people are very wrong. In fact, I think it has amplified my love!!
Jeff is more of a Summer Olympics guy. I am not sure how he picks a favorite, but to each his own. We recently went to Atlanta for a Falcons game and high on my list of things to do before the game was visit Centennial Park! It was such an Olympic landmark from 1996. I was happy to add it as my second Olympic site visit.
My first Olympic site visit was on our honeymoon. Jeff and I went to Barcelona for part of our honeymoon. We toured the historic and artistic sites of Barcelona, and you better believe we visited the Athletes Village and some of the sites that still had Olympic influences. I was so happy to be there!
As a teacher, I have always incorporated the Olympics into my teaching. When I was a classroom teacher, we graphed medals, had math story problems about Olympic sports, and earned medals as a class. As a media specialist, I include Olympic literature into my lessons, Olympic history in our research lessons, and created a school wide reading incentive program surrounding the Olympics. I share with my students how Olympic athletes devote everything to being the very best athlete they can be. I tell them how athletes develop friendships all around their sports. I share with that how the ceremonies and much of the design of each Olympics is a chance to showcase the culture of the host country. I like to think I am creating Olympic fans, just like me!
Four years ago, I shared this link, 15 Things That Happen When You’re Addicted to the Olympics, and it couldn’t be more true today.
I have abandoned any notion of a reasonable bedtime for myself and am glued to the coverage.
I have Olympic outfits (Santa brought the Parsons family a big Olympic package with jackets, hats, and mittens), jewelry, and gold medal nails that I am wearing to show my support for all of these athletes that have worked so hard to make it to PyeongChang. It may sound like a little much, but I LOVE the Olympics.
I’d love to hear any Olympics stories that anyone else may have. Have you been to the Olympics, competed (gasp!?!) in the Olympics, or just love them like me? I’m planning on being sleep deprived, but very happy, until the Closing Ceremony February 25th.
Personal: Little Fires everywhere by Celeste Ng
School: The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary and Moo by Sharon Creech