I have always preferred the Winter Olympics over the Summer ones. I’m not sure if that’s because some of my earliest memories are of sledding and skiing under the lights in the backyard so long ago. We get some fantastic snow here in the Syracuse area, and it’s a lovely sight when millions of flakes are backlit by a spotlight at night. I’m pretty sure my Mom’s cocoa probably had something to do with my love of Winter, too. As we come up on the 2014 Winter Olympics, it feels a bit different than what I remember when I was a child. Those iconic moments, captured on grainy broadcasts and black and white TVs – Franz Klammer’s iconic run for Gold in front of his countrymen in 1976. The “Miracle on Ice” in Lake Placid in 1980. Eric Heiden. Dorothy Hamill. Today’s global warming, political upheaval, economic uncertainty, and terrorist threats thankfully weren’t on my radar at age four during the Blizzard of ’66.
Since the Olympics represent, theoretically, the purity of sport, competition, and international camaraderie, perhaps this upcoming edition will serve as a unifying force. There are new categories of sport, alongside the classics. I can’t wait to see the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat play out under the shadow of those 5 rings and that forever flame. I still rate Lillehammer’s and Barcelona’s Olympic torch lighting theatrics as my favorite Winter and Summer ones. What do you think?
Contemporary technology has completely transformed the experience of watching, or rather interacting, with the Olympics. How about Facebook?