“Citius, Altius, Fortius!”
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that I am an Olympic Games geek.
Every two years—and in more ways than there is room for me to describe in this space—something ancient emerges from this spirited soul of mine and leaps into a lifestyle in which all things have an Olympic slant.
I have lived vicariously during the Olympic Games since 1972 when I was 12 years old. Growing up, I willed myself to be every athlete from the discus thrower to the speed skater with each successive year of the Games.
While the real competitors were battling it out on the Olympic world stage, I was practising at home—bent over like a comma and slicing up the ice rink on the creek perfecting crossovers with my skates or spinning about and hurling huge rocks as discus across the green grass of my parents’ front lawn.
And today, even as my 50th birthday looms in the distance and my aching muscles receive their daily Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen combination, I still am right as rain in Olympic-mode and believe myself a champion in all things.
My current favourite Canadian bard is Shane Koyczan. Ever since hearing him articulate “We Are More” during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I’ve been puffed up in patriotism, acting as if before Feb. 12 I didn’t even know I was Canadian.
And while my husband will always be “Hercules” in the starry-eyed vision and heart of his wife no matter what year it is, he has not one Olympic sports bone in his body.
This is perhaps the only time I will admit his temporary absence in our neck of the woods is an okay thing.
Although if he had been here right now, the man cave he is intent on building would have been buttoned up and beautiful as he poured all of his efforts into it to avoid being sucked into the Olympic vortex currently racing through this tiny house for two weeks in February.
When I was talking by telephone with him Sunday morning and expounding my anticipation for watching the men’s hockey preliminary round showdown between Canada and the United States that evening, there was a long, silent pause through the telephone from Afghanistan.
“That sounds like fun,” he said as my ESP scored another goal.
My “CSIS” (Critical Selection Information System) kicked in just then as I decided not to tell him that my Olympic-size attitude may result in the purchase (using his credit card) of one of everything from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics online store, as well as a pair of speed skates, a snowboard, a curling rock, downhill skis, and a luge sled so I can begin training for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Okay, so I’m a big dreamer, and admittedly my speed skating and discus days are but pearls of the past. But believe me, that doesn’t mean I haven’t found alternative modes of expression for my Olympic prowess.
Not to mention that today’s technology grants me the ability to download every song from the 2010 opening ceremonies. And with that kind of music energizing me in my training workouts, nothing can stop me.
If there were a two-mile frozen creek walk competition in the Winter Games, they’d be handing me a gold medal right now. If there were a snow-shovelling event, I’d have taken the competition by storm with my right-handed power throw.
And because the closest thing to a curling rink surface around here is my kitchen floor, it sparkles thanks to my “hurry hard!” deck mop.
Gold medal please.
In the days to come if I don’t keep a lid on this Olympic sweep, it could slalom through Pete’s budding man cave as a goodwill gesture in a bid to remove unnecessary tool and gadget paraphernalia (don’t worry, honey, I will never be the iceberg to your Titanic).
Geek or no geek, my Olympic dreams are always a blast for me and no matter how old I get (and I’m going to get very, very old), I will never stop pretending to be the Olympian.
And during those two weeks in February, 2060, when the Games of the 46th Olympiad are going strong somewhere in this big world, here I’ll be at 99 years young having just won for the fastest competitor in the rocking chair event.
Gold medal please, sonny.
“Citius, Altius, Fortius!”