A reader’s perspective on deciding which Olympic sport would be the coolest to watch.
I wish I could channel And Marquette sometimes and come up with some really cool facts about the Olympics, but alas I am not as well versed in history. Instead I can admit that I have always dreamed of attending the Olympics and still have that on my wish list for future travel adventures. But what event? I mean seriously there are so many to choose from and they seem to be all over the place even though it is based out of one city. The security would surely be a nightmare, but in the end I am sure it would all be worth it. This dream originated way back in the 80’s when I still believed my parents when they told us the TV had blown up in a winter storm. My Dad arranged for us to watch the 1984 Summer Olympics that were hosted by Los Angeles, California, USA. We would bundle up some blankets, dinner and head over to this tiny theater on the school campus where he taught. It was magical to watch all those athletes compete! To watch them standing on podiums wrapped in their country flags singing their national anthems with tears streaming down their faces. I was on that cusp of understanding that these games were playing into a political controversy with that dreaded country, the USSR. As a child I remember being afraid of a nuclear attack almost as much as I was afraid of an earthquake and thinking the likely hood of both where about equal. Hearing reports of how many medals in Gold, Silver and Bronze the USA Teams had garnered in comparison to the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow that the USA had boycotted fed into that fear but at the same time crazily inspired even more pride in country.
Just watching those games though, on that weird theater screen filled me with such happiness for how competition could be true and pure. How conflict shouldn’t be more than the actual match and afterward a handshake is shared and respect is given. Watching everyone trying for pride and country- some failing and some achieving. There’s just something about that concept. And of course it was inspiring and for awhile I planned on going to the Olympics myself. Didn’t have a clue what event or the skill, resources or dedication it would need to make such a journey much less succeed. But what a wonderful dream to have! Going to the Olympics!
I was feeling that same pride when reading Kate Christie’s newest release in the Girls of Summer series, Outside the Lines. That dream is captured so well and drills in the idea of the time, skill and resources needed to make that dream come true. I so want Jaime to make that team! And what I think makes this even more special is that it parallels what actually happened with the Women’s National Team as they made their ultimate run for the Women’s World Cup. I would definitely want to get tickets so I could watch Emma and Jaime play though.
But if I was at the soccer games, would it still be possible to get to some of the women’s basketball games? Because it would have been super awesome to watch a character like Grayson Viola from Lynn Galli’s Full Court Pressure play. Granted the story isn’t about her Olympic run but she is an Olympic champion now breaking through that glass ceiling in the world of men’s college basketball. As the first head coach in such an environment, the confidence, skill and determination displayed were certainly the same attributes that got her onto the Olympic Team. I mean she can DUNK!
I was fascinated by one of the comments that was left on Ann’s blog last week regarding Maria Kaj’s story Outside the Rio Spotlight and I have it downloaded on my kindle waiting for this weekend when the silly day job doesn’t get in the way of my reading time. One of the stories looks like it follows the success of the USA Women’s Rowing 8’s, which if I could compete I think it would be this event. Except that I am too small, weak and don’t play well with others. But if I was, then this would be a super cool event. At least it was in Pol Robinson’s Open Water which followed the challenges and struggles of both Cass and Laurie as they compete for Olympic Gold. This story really does show how much mental preparation athletes need to endure in addition to the physical.
Since I am small, weak and don’t play well with others, I think I would probably do better if I chose an individual sport. Maybe something like Archery. Granted I would have to bulk up the core and arms something fierce to pull however many pounds of pressure to hit targets at such great distances. (I am pretty good at the Wii archery game though. Does that count? If only *sigh*) Maybe if I was like Sarah in Karin Kallmaker’s Embrace in Motion. She competed in the Olympics and again, not the focus of the story, having such an accomplishment on the resume creates and interesting character. To have a go-to activity that can settle the chaos that is called life and allow for a renewed focus would be awesome!
What sport would you want to compete in? What about just watching? Are there any favorite Olympic lesfic stories out there that are favorites? And if there are any authors reading this can you write about the US Women’s Water Polo team? I’m looking forward to reading about the actual team in Outside the Rio Spotlight but dang! Water polo is a BRUTAL sport! Not knowing much about it, but watching a game or two it looks like one of the objectives is to dunk your opponent as many times as possible! Anyway, let me know what inspiring lesfic sports stories have grabbed your attention! I would love to hear them!