Guys, McKayla Maroney is TOTALLY our Posh Spice. I have to give Annie Barrett props for figuring this out first.
If you follow me on either Facebook or Twitter, you already know that I’m obsessed with the Olympics. Gymnastics, swimming, track and field, synchronized diving, volleyball… I love it all. Heck, I even love the Winter Olympics. During the 2010 Winter Olympics I was in my final semester of college, but that didn’t stop me from parking myself in the front of the TV with two friends for all the ice skating, speed skating, bobsledding, and skiing coverage we could handle.
There’s lots to love about the Olympics. The patriotism (from the USA and other nations; nothing makes my heart skip a beat faster than a hearty “USA! USA!” chant), the triumphant moments, the come-from-behind victories, the unknowns who steal people’s hearts, and so on.
For me, I tease and say I could have been an Olympian if I had tried. I kid, but I really did love watching/doing gymnastics and ice skating when I was younger. I wasn’t good, but I liked it. Plus, I took beginner gymnastics lessons at the same gym Athens all-around gold medalist Paul Hamm came from, along with his twin brother, Morgan. I went skating with family and friends around the same rink speed skating gold medalists Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen and Shani Davis trained on. So maybe knowing all this Olympic history helped hooked me on watching them at an early age.
I adored Kristi Yamaguchi (and still do). I had photos of her in an album (which also contained photos of multi-colored vests I wanted… I was a weird kid), and practiced triple salchows and skating backwards in the living room with my sister. Then Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan happened and my 10-year-old brain exploded.
Similar to our figure skating obsession, my sister and I would practice balancing on thin lines, visualizing balance beams in their place. It all started when Kerri Strug and the rest of the Magnificent Seven won gold. Also, I wanted Shannon Miller’s hair scrunchie.
Now every time the Olympics roll around (winter or summer), my life momentarily pauses so I can be a part of all the moments. I’m older now, but I still get giddy when a surprise athlete bursts on the scene, teary when someone breaks down singing the National Anthem, and slightly lose my voice when an event comes down to the wire. I know the Olympics aren’t everyone’s favorite, but for me it’s all about cheering on my country, learning more about others, and marveling at people who let me live vicariously through them and help me to dream bigger in my own life.