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Normally, I am not much of a sports fan. Growing up with four athletic brothers, at one time I was. But then I married a man who really doesn ?t get into that stuff, and I ?ve gradually drifted away from my fanaticism. Until ?

The Olympics!

From the opening ceremony (awesome!) I ?ve had one eye on the tube whenever the Olympics are on. I find myself cheering during really obscure events (go water polo!!), and feeling the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

I screamed out loud the other night when the USA men ?s relay team won their swimming event. What a race! Even my husband was screaming. We were so excited! And last night I almost came to tears when the USA women ?s gymnastics team just could not pull together a victory.

So I ?ve wondered what it is about the Olympics that turns me into a fan for those few weeks. I think I ?ve decided that it ?s because a lot of these competitors were just average people who found a God-given ability and made the most of it. I look at Shawn Johnson (women ?s gymnastics) whose parents had no gymnastics background, but put her in a class because she had so much energy and they wanted an outlet for that. A coach saw the potential in her and here she is, an Olympian! That, to me, is inspiring!

I ?ll admit, I even get brought in to the sappy vignettes that they show. I ?m a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Of course, you always have the downside of sport too the cheating, the doping, the lip-synching in the opening ceremonies. But overall, it is a time when I just really enjoy watching these athletes who have honed their craft. I tip my hat to all of them for working so hard. While I ?m definitely cheering for the USA, I am inspired by the athletes from all nations who give their best and don ?t give up.

It ?s a lesson that applies to real life, for me: Whether we are an Olympic athlete or a stay-at-home mom, we can work to use the gifts that God gave us to be the very best we can be.

{ 71 comments… add one }
  • mormonhermitmom August 13, 2008, 10:53 pm

    I am the same way about the Olympics. I love the medal ceremonies when the underdog finally got the gold and they can’t help but weep when their country’s anthem is played. When the Olympics are over, I’m done with sports for another four years. I don’t often cry, but, those moments just get me.

  • kiar August 13, 2008, 11:39 pm

    Yeah Olympics! its what’s on at my house! Plus, I get to root for two countries: USA and Canda!

  • dollmaker August 13, 2008, 11:45 pm

    You know Kiar, I’ve actually started cheering for Canada some too. you’re rubbing off on me.

  • kiar August 13, 2008, 11:50 pm

    Bwuahahahaah! My sinister plan is coming to fruition! soon, you will be singing “Oh Canada” and saying “God save the Queen!” You will wear tooques, not knit caps, and call soda “pop”. you will know what a loonie and a twoonie are, and know that they are not levels of people in an institution. You will eat poutine and Beaver tails and not get grossed out.
    Welcome to the dark side my friend!

  • dollmaker August 14, 2008, 12:04 am

    I think I stepped over while in New Hampshire. You know, the farther away from the mason-dixon line, the stranger things can get.

    And I love the Olympics. Makes me want to try to do something great too.

  • kiar August 14, 2008, 12:05 am

    hee hee! I concurr!

  • jennycherie August 14, 2008, 5:39 am

    I love the Olympics! I wish I could watch more of them. Great article Angie! I *love* reading the stories of the athletes as well. I read the story about Dara Torres – 41 year old mother who is swimming in her 5th Olympics – this morning. Wow – what an inspiration! Here is a link to her story:


  • nanacarol August 14, 2008, 8:59 am

    When are we having a poutine bash!!! I am so there! We need a good game night too!

  • Lewis_Family August 14, 2008, 9:34 am

    Utahns say pop too, at least a lot that I have encountered.

  • agardner August 14, 2008, 9:48 am

    …and “buns” instead of “rolls”, right kiar?

  • kiar August 14, 2008, 10:27 am

    YES! our dialects are similar. lol.

  • east-of-eden August 14, 2008, 10:30 am

    We’re also in sever sleep deprived mode at our house….it’s tempting to stay up and watch all night, because you can on USA Network and that’s the ONLY time (shame on you NBC Universatl!!) that they play Indoor Vollyball….but thankfully, my DH stages nightly interventions and prys the remote from my hands and pushes me into bed.

  • davidson August 14, 2008, 10:37 am

    Love it! I would love to see your husband prying the remote from your hands! What a visual. Yup, we’re addicted,too. Non-stop Olympics at our house, complete with Mary trying to imitate everything she sees in the men’s gymnastics. (No broken bones. . .yet.)

  • kiar August 14, 2008, 12:09 pm

    But can she stick a landing???

  • davidson August 14, 2008, 12:37 pm

    Yes, she can stick a landing. Lands squarely on her pockets every time.

  • east-of-eden August 14, 2008, 3:07 pm

    It was funny the frist night, but after that, I realized that he was just getting me to bed so I could function the next day….because let’s just say w/o sleep I am no fun. But, it’s funny, last week he was really “not interested” in watching because he has issues with China, as do I, but the Olympics are the only time to really see swimming, and volleyball, so I put my political feelings aside to watch. Over this week, he hollers downstairs and says, “When is that swimming on??” or “Tell me when the swimming comes on, ok?” And he’s totally into the diving too…it’s so funny.

  • agardner August 14, 2008, 3:32 pm

    I have found the swimming and diving to be a lot of fun to watch! Just watching Michael Phelps celebrating is enough fun to last me for awhile! He reminds me of a little kid on Christmas morning.

    I stayed up late last night to watch the men’s individual all around. Oh my, that was a lot of drama! And tonight it’s the ladies. Another late night!

    What cracks me up about myself is that I’ll find myself watching even things I would NEVER care about outside of the olympics.

  • Lewis_Family August 14, 2008, 3:45 pm

    We keep watching the equestrians because Jasmin likes to watch the “horseys” 🙂

  • east-of-eden August 14, 2008, 4:51 pm

    What cracks me up about myself is that I’ll find myself watching even things I would NEVER care about outside of the olympics.

    Ya, can you say weighlifting? Kazakhstan never had a bigger fan than me! I’m the same way with curling in the winter olymipcs.

  • kiar August 14, 2008, 9:15 pm

    Curling, you say? welcome to the dark side my friend…

  • delmar August 14, 2008, 10:39 pm

    hehehe. i love certain olympic sports.

    my recent olympic story…..when my hubby went back to work last weekend and the girls were away at their grandparents i went into shock. i was all alone in a house torn apart by the flood that occured while in the hospital giving birth. my hubby had nicely moved our carpet back into our room, and put our bed and dresser back….but it was erie being alone. i pulled out brooklyns twin mattress and slept on it on the front-room floor with the baby right next to me or in her bouncey seat for 2 nights. even with a gun and 3 large dogs i just couldn’t sleep in my own bedroom. i slept with the tv on tuned to the olympics or food network at all times. i got so hooked watching olympic soccer in the middle of the night once i didn’t sleep when the baby was and watched tv from 1 feeding to the next. i was horribly tired the next day and regretted it.

    and i root for cananda! oh wait, in all genealogical senses i am a canuck!!!…just not as canuckian as kiar!!! my girls like to point out canadian geese with me and mention that they are long lost relatives….of kiars! hahaha. poutine is awesome! “oh canada” is something i’m used to hearing and can sing along to….oh and kiar started me on the word tooque instead of “beanie”. i’ve called soda “pop” in military housing and in colorado so that wasn’t much of a change.

  • delmar August 14, 2008, 10:41 pm

    oh and loonie and toonie! i have those in my coin collection!
    if i remember….loonie is the $1 coin and toonie/twoonie is the $2 coin. please tell me i’m close kiar!!!

  • agardner August 14, 2008, 11:03 pm

    Way to go USA women gymnasts! I’m not sure if everyone was just watching that live, or if it is delayed in the western part of the country…so I won’t give it away other than to say our girls did really well in the individual all around! Awesome!

  • agardner August 14, 2008, 11:07 pm

    Can I also just say how absolutely beautiful the dresses of the Chinese women who are working at the medals ceremonies are? (I don’t know their official titles, but the ladies who escort the medalists in and out). Wow. Gorgeous.

  • Ray August 14, 2008, 11:20 pm

    Amen, agardner. That was incredible!

  • Amy E August 15, 2008, 12:00 am

    Angie, thanks for not saying, though I just finished watching the floor routines. So good!

  • east-of-eden August 15, 2008, 8:49 am

    Way to go USA women gymnasts! I’m not sure if everyone was just watching that live, or if it is delayed in the western part of the country…so I won’t give it away other than to say our girls did really well in the individual all around! Awesome!

    It went really late last night, even in the west, due to some judging crisis….anyway, NBC will replay the winners (although you should be able to find who they are on Fri morn) events tonight — Friday in primetime….

  • kiar August 15, 2008, 9:38 am

    my dip of a hubbie kept me up till 3 am this morning, watching the stupid Olympics. I want to hurt him. By 1 am, he finally left our bedroom, and moved to the living room, but in doing so, woke the baby, and the cat, and by default, me! So I got up to get a drink of water, and had the baby bouncing all over me, so I went and watched the Whitewater Kayaking with him. Then I had to get up and get the kids to school, and he thinks he can just stay in bed, till I take the baby to the doctor’s. (Oh, HE has to go to work this afternoon, so HE needs sleep!)
    Could this be the first domestic violence incident connected to the Olympics????
    (I love him, I love him, I love him…..)

    Oh, and I still like the Olympics, I am just glad that he will be at work tonight, so I can get some sleep.

  • delmar August 15, 2008, 2:19 pm

    i loved the kayaking!!!

  • delmar August 15, 2008, 2:20 pm

    oh and kiar….can i just rub it in that the us womens soccer team beat northern montana and are advancing into the semi finals!!! hehehe…oops i meant they beat canada!

  • dollmaker August 15, 2008, 2:37 pm


  • kiar August 15, 2008, 3:21 pm


  • delmar August 15, 2008, 3:42 pm

    :whorship:love you too!

  • Michelle D August 15, 2008, 4:17 pm

    I love the Olympics, especially the gymnastics, swimming, and diving. This year I have watched what is on early evening, as that is when I am not sleeping or working… I really wanted to stay up and watch the women’s gymnastics individual all around, but didn’t. I saw the highlights today on the news at work, and it was incredible!

    Switching to days instead of overnights is killing me! I am still waking up in the middle of the night, thinking I’m supposed to be awake… That 5:20 alarm is awfully early for someone who isn’t a morning person and has spent the past year working third shift! But at least now I am only waking up once, around 3:00, instead of at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30… Eventually I will finish adjusting!

    All of which is to say that I’ve missed a lot of the Olympics! But it’s been fun watching Michael Phelps break all those records and win the gold so many times! Do y’all think he will get all 8 he is hoping for?

  • davidson August 15, 2008, 5:41 pm

    Ah, Michelle, I hope you can adjust to your new sleep schedule. It’s the pits to not be able to sleep when you CAN sleep! Hugs and prayers for you.

  • Michelle D August 15, 2008, 6:27 pm

    Thanks, Serena! I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I’m getting there; it’s just the process itself isn’t very pleasant!

  • agardner August 15, 2008, 7:04 pm

    Michelle, I think Phelps has a good chance to get at least the gold in his individual event. The relay could always be up in the air. And, if I understand correctly from what the commentators said, if he doesn’t win the individual event, and is beaten by the other American guy (why can’t I remember his name??) — who holds the world record, then that guy will swim the relay anyway and Phelps won’t even be in the race.

    Guess we’ll find out in about an hour! His race is at 10:10 Eastern Time!

  • Michelle D August 16, 2008, 7:56 pm

    Thanks, Angie. I was bad and stayed up to watch that one… Wow, was it worth it! :bigsmile:

    My kids were screaming, they were so excited. I went to work this morning, and the lady I help was talking about it – she thinks he should let someone else experience winning the gold – doesn’t he already have enough? – like he was being selfish. In a way I can understand what she meant, but I’m still (privately at work; loudly at home) cheering him on! It could be another 30 years before we see such a feat again! I saw an interview with Spitz (sp?), and I figure if he is cool with his 30+ year unbroken record of 7 golds in 1 Olympics being broken, then why begrudge Phelps the opportunity to try to do it?!

  • Lewis_Family August 16, 2008, 8:16 pm

    Pshaw, so one shouldn’t be one’s best? How is that in the Olympic spirit? We are supposed to send our best, to compete with the best. If I knew Phelps held back so I could win, I would know it was not a true victory, that I hadn’t beat the best, kind of hollow victory. But people are entitled their opinions, some should just keep them to theirselves huh? :devil:

  • Michelle D August 16, 2008, 8:22 pm

    I agree with you, Lewis. But this isn’t the type of lady to keep her opinions to herself… wonderful, sweet, fun to be with most of the time, but also opinionated, strong-willed, and independent! 🙂

  • agardner August 16, 2008, 9:26 pm

    To answer your original question Michelle – yes, I think Phelps has a really, really good chance to win 8 golds this olympics. Really good! (the race just ended)

  • Lewis_Family August 16, 2008, 9:57 pm

    Ha! I know the type, my g-ma in law comes to mind. Wonderful, usually sweet and always fun to be with but very opinionated and there is no changing her mind 🙂

  • Ray August 16, 2008, 10:11 pm

    The man is . . . Phelpsian. I just can’t think of a better adjective.

  • Ray August 16, 2008, 10:13 pm

    The Jamaican sprinter – Bolt – amazed me in the 100M. He made it look SO easy, broke the world record, destroyed the field and actually coasted the last 15 yards. Freaky fast.

  • jennycherie August 17, 2008, 5:16 am

    Posted By: RayThe Jamaican sprinter – Bolt – amazed me in the 100M.

    wasn’t that something?? wow! Think of how fast he might have been if he hadn’t started celebrating those last 15 yards when it was so clear he had won!

  • jennycherie August 19, 2008, 6:08 am

    is anyone else annoyed by the uniforms for some of the sports??? I totally do NOT get why a bikini would be better for say, running or playing volleyball, than a tank top/shorts. Where are all the feminist athletes? I can’t understand why strong, athletic, talented women are willing to wear bikinis for an athletic competition. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with comfort, ease of movement or aerodynamics or the men would be wearing smaller clothes too! I thought for the beach volleyball, maybe it was just a matter of the contestants wearing swimsuits until I saw the men playing wearing tank tops/shorts instead of swimming suits. :confused:grrrrr. . .

  • mandyp August 19, 2008, 10:30 am

    How do I make the quote thing work?!

  • Alison Moore Smith August 19, 2008, 10:38 am

    Posted By: delmarnd i root for cananda! oh wait, in all genealogical senses i am a canuck!!!

    delmar, last night on the Nightside Project (a KSL radio program) the hosts congratulated Canada for finally overtaking Michael Phelps in the medal count. Hee hee 😎

    mandyp, you are doing it correctly you just need to click the little radio button:smile: below the comment entry box that says “Html.”

  • Alison Moore Smith August 19, 2008, 10:44 am

    Amen to the discussion about the bikinis vs. tanks and shorts. (Beach volleyball, at least.) Sam and I have a theory that they COULD choose otherwise if they WANTED to. We think they like the attention and showing off their bodies.

  • jennycherie August 19, 2008, 12:02 pm

    Posted By: Alison Moore SmithWe think they like the attention and showing off their bodies.

    I think you are right and, I guess I also think that if questioned, they might insist that they are most comfortable playing in a bikini and they should wear what they like. I can remember as a college student, I insisted many times that skirts (often short and tight ones at that) and leggings were most comfortable to me so that’s why I wore them but the reality was that I knew that was what was most flattering to me. I also remember CLEARLY that my wearing a bikini (this was before I joined the church, just FYI) had way more to do with looking good, fitting in with my friends, and getting male attention than it did with comfort or coolness or even suntanning. Remembering how much my bikini had a tendency to slip one way or the other, I am even MORE amazed that any one would play ANY sport in ANY garment remotely resembling a bikini!

  • delmar August 19, 2008, 12:15 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one amazed by the volleyball athletes different choices in attire. yikes!

  • Lewis_Family August 19, 2008, 12:23 pm

    I could see the argument being that if they wore a tank then they would have to still wear a suit underneath, so would cause discomfort in having to wear layers. Not that I would wear nor accept the justification in my personal life, but I could see where they are coming from. The honestly could play just as well I would think, in a 1 piece or tankini for that matter (I prefer tankinis, much easier to use the restrooms in that, plus shades are awesomely long :smile:)

  • agardner August 19, 2008, 2:17 pm

    I can’t imagine a tight bikini being more comfortable than what the men are wearing (long, loose shorts and tanks).

  • Lewis_Family August 19, 2008, 2:50 pm

    I could see tight being better than loose, it would hold… things… down/in? Where as loose, then one would bounce about persay…

  • Michelle D August 19, 2008, 6:20 pm

    I made the comment the other night while watching beach VB that it looked like the guys were going to play basketball and the women looked like they were going to the beach… *sigh*

  • Ray August 19, 2008, 8:23 pm

    Lewis, you’re right about why they wear jock straps.

    Oh, wait, you’re talking about the women! :devil:

  • Ray August 19, 2008, 8:24 pm

    Oh, and I think both would “bounce about”, not just “one”, but that’s probably a technicality.

  • agardner August 19, 2008, 8:32 pm

    I guess they’d be wearing bikini-like underwear anyway…so the theory is probably to wear less clothes? Since girls would be wearing a bra/bikini anyway and the guys aren’t?

  • jennycherie August 22, 2008, 7:44 am

    I’ve actually heard a couple of news stories now – – one online and one on talk radio – – about the uniform differences between men and women. . . at least I am glad I’m not the only one who noticed, but I would really LOVE to hear from some of the female Olympians as to why the difference does not bother them at all.

  • kiar August 22, 2008, 8:04 am

    ok, did anyone else see the sprinter from Bahrain? ’nuff said!!!

  • Ray August 22, 2008, 8:10 am

    She took 5th or 6th, right? That was awesome to see, on one hand – sad to see on the other hand. As an American, I would hope there would be a happy medium.

  • kiar August 22, 2008, 8:15 am

    I was speaking of her outfit. She is Muslim, and follows her religion, by being covered, I just thought it was kinda cool to see.

  • agardner August 22, 2008, 8:18 am

    Did anyone notice this – girls in bikinis lining the sidelines before the gold medal men’s beach volleyball game? There were about 10 of them lined up in red bikinis, cheering, I guess? But I didn’t notice anything like that at the women’s match.

    I did think it was cute that both May-Treanor and Walsh said they are taking time off now to start families. They both want to have babies soon.

    I guess I missed the sprinter from Bahrain. What happened?

  • jennycherie August 22, 2008, 8:47 am

    Here’s a link to an article about the runner from Bahrain:

    rock on, sister – I know it looks weird to the rest of us, particularly when her competitors are wearing bikinis next to her, but I think it’s great that she is not compromising her dream to run competitively OR her religious beliefs.

  • delmar August 22, 2008, 9:23 am

    Its called a hijab and there are actually 12 Muslim women participating in the olympics who are wearing them. Not just the sprinter from Bahrain…the pics in this blog are awesome!


  • delmar August 22, 2008, 9:39 am

    Ooh I was watching the mens beach volleyball match last night with Todd Rogers. I was so intrigued by the fact that he is from Solvang CA….down by Santa Cruz for those of you who aren’t from CA. Oh wait it wasn’t that hes from CA. Its the fact that he and his wife have installed a full size/regulation/olympic size beach volleyball court in their backyard for them and their children. It cost over $10k alone for the sand!!! It took them 18 months due to permit issues and rain! Then the story went on to talk about how Rogers sons preschool teacher was appauled by how the city of Solvang had not done anything special to recognize that Rogers was an Olympic athlete. I guess she went before the city council protesting, etc. Now there is a banner over main st and Rogers “may” be the grand marshal of their christmas parade. too cool!!! plus he and dalhassuer won gold!!!

    oh and for those of you who are wondering heights: if todd rogers is 6ft 2in and his partner is a head taller…..how tall is he? hes 6ft 9in!!!

  • Lewis_Family August 22, 2008, 10:23 am

    We were bummed when Gibb lost… his younger bro went to school with my hubby and then he went to my school, so we both knew him. My hubby used to hang out at their house so knows the fam. So total bummer when they lost.

  • kiar August 22, 2008, 5:07 pm

    On a personal note, I wish that we wore hijab, because then I would never have a bad hair day!

  • delmar August 22, 2008, 5:26 pm


  • Sharilee10 August 22, 2008, 11:31 pm

    I have also been glued to the tv for the past 2 weeks, and I confess there is a part of me that is glad to see them come to end. I flew in the day of the Opening Ceremony from 5.5 weeks in Europe and between getting kids ready for school, daily football practices for two boys, spending time with my kids before they head back into school and trying to get back into the routine of life I feel like I’m not getting anything else done. My daughter actually had to pull my ipod charger out of the suitcase TONIGHT! I have one bag I haven’t even unpacked! I know– it’s a choice I’m making and a little self-discipline could change it all– but hey, it’s the Olympics and I’ve loved every minute. I’ve seen events I hardly knew existed and become a fan of people I had never even heard of, in addition to those I had hear of!

    Go USA!! And yes– 2 more days and I can go to bed at a reasonable time again.

  • mandyp August 19, 2008, 10:28 am

    Posted By: jennycherieis anyone else annoyed by the uniforms for some of the sports??? I totally do NOT get why a bikini would be better for say, running or playing volleyball, than a tank top/shorts. Where are all the feminist athletes? I can’t understand why strong, athletic, talented women are willing to wear bikinis for an athletic competition. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with comfort, ease of movement or aerodynamics or the men would be wearing smaller clothes too! I thought for the beach volleyball, maybe it was just a matter of the contestants wearing swimsuits until I saw the men playing wearing tank tops/shorts instead of swimming suits. grrrrr. . .

    You’re not alone! I mentioned this same thing to my husband last night while we were watching the volleyball. “Why are the women wearing that when the men get to wear tank tops and shorts?”

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