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  1. #1
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    Personal and Bittersweet Olympic Memories

    Anyone else have any? The last summer Olympics, I watched the amazing opening ceremony from BeiJing while on holiday in Spain.

    2 days later , I returned home to find out my mother had a fatal cancer and had 12 months or so to live. Turned out was 12 days. Watched the closing ceremony breaking my heart as I'd just lost my idol 2 days before.

    We had both been really excited when London won the Olympics and while 4 years on I am not a crying wreck, it's going to bring back some memories.
    Dont Hate! Gyrate!

  2. #2

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    You know, it doesn't matter how old we are-- we still need our Mommies!!! I hope that all you moms out there read this and 'get' it. You are SOOOO important to your children.
    Beefcake's fancy, saccharine, artsy, drag bingo cliche effusing, bipolar, OTT fashionista manchild

  3. #3
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    And damn we are old Jayar! xx
    Dont Hate! Gyrate!

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    My daughter is a huge fan of all the Olympics and was ecstatic when Vancouver won their bid. She planned for years to volunteer, and signed up on the first day they accepted applications. She arranged for her husband to have time off of work to stay with their newborn daughter while she went to the volunteer training sessions, and I was going to babysit while she worked there.

    Then she waited for her assignment.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    They finally told her that she "might" be able to work at the Paralympics held after the event.

    Meanwhile her mother-in-law, who does office work for the RCMP, was drafted from the ranks of the civl servants, flown across the country and paid to go and work there for the entire Olympics, and while she was there attended NOT A SINGLE event! She was IN THE BUILDING during most of the figure skating events! I think my poor daughter cried every day of the two weeks it was on.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Well, for me I know one personal bittersweet moment that I can think of was in Beijing during the USA's gymnastics prelim rotation. I didn't have TV feed, so I was following the quick-hits on the computer. As I was doing so (it was quite late) someone popped up on my FB chat. In a second, I learned that a very beloved gentleman at our church had suddenly passed away due to a heart attack.

    Suddenly, being bummed out over Alicia stepping OOB on FX and not making EF's didn't make much sense. It gave me a firm wake-up call and a healthy dose of perspective...sure, these athletes may not make all their personal goals at the Olympics, but they, for the most part, still have their health, life, and family. In the end, that's all you can ask for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    You know, it doesn't matter how old we are-- we still need our Mommies!!! I hope that all you moms out there read this and 'get' it. You are SOOOO important to your children.
    THIS!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by SHARPIE View Post
    And damn we are old Jayar! xx
    we are not old, my head has not caught up with my age yet and I am following it's lead

  7. #7
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    We got to attend part of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It took 2 days to drive down there. We had a great experience and got to see the individual gymnastic finals & exhibition (in the nosebleed seats). We used our binoculars to record the scores. Other sports we got to see - judo, weightlifting, field hockey, women's basketball, track & field.

    About two weeks after the Olympics ended, my mom passed away.

  8. #8
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    Don't have any really bittersweet memories regarding the Olympics. I do associate them various moments in my life like I'm sure everybody else does too.

    In 1984 my mother and my brothers and sisters and I spent the summer with our paternal grandmother in her house in the mountains in upstate New York. My father who was a sportsnut (wonder if I got any of those genes ) decided to stay home and mind the house and our pet dog Pluto (who he was not really fond of ). Well that was the reasoning, but I'm sure the fact that our grandmother could get only one channel on her TV and it was not the one that was showing the Olympics played into the decision. So my father by staying in Ireland got to see the Olympics and the rest of the family who were in the US saw none.

    I do remember going to McDonalds during that summer and there being a promotion with scratchcards (??) that you could win items if the US won the event on your card. Of course, most of the eastern block countries boycotted that year so the US won loads of golds. I imagine McDonalds must have taken quite a hit on that.

    When we got home to Ireland, Pluto had gone "missing". By the time of the next Olympics in 1988, my father had passed away also.

    In 1992, we were stuck in a crappy cottage in the west of Ireland in one of the wettest summers I can remember. It was the longest summer ever. I started university that autumn.

    1996 was the year I graduated from university and I left for Japan right during the middle of the Games. I remember the whole country being all and that a friggin swimmer was winning us loads of medals.

    By 2000 I was back in Ireland with Mr. allezfred. Start of a new life here!

    2004 Olympics was when I started posting in earnest on FSU and hating on the "feelgood" stories and Craig & Clare. Good times. I met SHARPIE for the first time that autumn too.

    Looking back on Beijing it really was the last big party before things went pear shaped. Still here though and looking forward to London! Wheeeee!
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  9. #9
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    Taking vacation to watch the 1988 Calgary Olympics with my 4 friends at our friends mountain house in Coxsackie, NY. 2 of them had AIDS at the time, and they were gone by that fall. 1 of them basically drank herself to death several years later, unable to cope with the grief of having lost all of her best friends to AIDS (these 2 and several others). Just 2 of us left.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  10. #10

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    I had tickets to many of the Sydney events and sold them to go to Beijing and study. I watched the majority of the Sydney Olympics in the McDonald's opposite my uni instead of going to class. I was homesick and remember regretting not being there. I also remember getting all the Chinese cheering for Thorpe and getting into a lot debates about how Sydney had "stolen" the Olympics from Beijing.

    I was in Beijing when it was awarded the 2008 Olys, and during the whole lead up. Beijing became beautiful. But it was only temporary! I went home for a very short amount of time during the 2008 Olys and went to some events in Beijing when I got back. I clearly remember not being allowed to have our blow-up kangaroo in the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony was awesome! But then Beijing got ugly again...

  11. #11

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    Being glued to the television set during the summer '72 Olympics in Munich and the terrorists.

    Trying to rent a T.V. in Ottawa during the '76 Montreal games. Without a credit rating we didn't get a T.V. but watched in bars instead.

    Enumerating during the '84 summer games in Los Angeles and going into peoples homes to get their names on the voters list while watching track events. That was such a hoot. We'd knock on the door and when they opened it, I'd say, "Has the race gone yet?" Then they'd invite us in to watch and we'd give them their forms to say they were on the list. Then we'd enumerate a few more apartments and then go into another one to watch another race.

    Disgusted with Ben Johnson in whatever games he was in - Korea?

    Being late back to work after lunch in '94 because I had to see the end of a hockey game. You know hockey games can run much longer than what it says on the clock.

    Thrilled with Donovan Bailey in Atlanta, 1996.

    Playing an Olympic Trivia game on an Australian T.V. website in 2000 and meeting a bunch of Aussies through it.

    Not so much from more recent games. Don't know why - More memories from winter than summer I guess.

  12. #12

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    On the day the Vancouver Olympics began, my grandmother went into the nursing home due to lung cancer that had metasized to her bones. During the two weeks of the Olympics, I focused so much on them to keep from thinking about my grandmother dying.

    The day after the Olympics ended, she was so heavily on my mind that I called the nursing home to see how she was doing. She was doing fine that day.

    She passed away a month later on April 1, 2010. She'd gone into the hospital the final time during Worlds.
    'Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.'--John Wayne

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    the olympics really are a makerer in time for us hey- i dont have any bittersweet moments- my dad who is not really into large sporting events- went to calgary in 88 with work and he RAVED about it! it really changed him in how he felt about these types of events- i LOVED the vancouver games- we cheered - and enjoyed all the free events along with figure skating and practices- it was a once in a lifetime experience for me- i LOVED how everyone became more patriotic during it too- loads of decorated lawns and houses! it is sad fro me that i will prob never see an event in my home town again like it
    so all you going to london- ENJOY and soak it ALL in!!!

  14. #14

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    Mine was definitely Vancouver. Going into that week, I knew it was going to be one of the busiest two weeks of my life. I was in college at the time and I had several college sporting events to attend in person (one of which was a big thing that was going to involve a week of camping out and a lot of coordination from me personally) as well as a project and four exams during those two weeks.

    My two favorite teams/skaters are Lysacek and Davis & White. I was hoping Lysacek would medal but I really didn't expect him to win. Obviously when he won (Thursday night), I freaked out, called my friends, woke up my roommates by running around the room, etc. On Friday, it was the start of Lacrosse season (which was big at my school) and all of my friends were commenting on how ridiculously happy I seemed. Friday was the Compulsory Dance and obviously I was again really happy about how Davis & White did.

    On Saturday, one of my friends at school was killed in a car accident. Obviously the tone of that set of two weeks changed pretty drastically for me. And a lot more than that, really. I remember that I got up really early on Tuesday morning to drive to her funeral so I watched the free dance from bed so that I could go to bed as soon as it was over. Even two years later, I can't think about anything that happened during those two weeks without all of it coming back at once. Selfishly, one of the reasons I was so thrilled when Meryl and Charlie won worlds was that I felt like I really didn't get to be excited for their Olympic medal. Obviously I wanted them to win a world title because they are my favorite team and I think they deserved it, but I also wanted them to win it so I'd be able to get a bit of that back. At the time I thought I'd be able to watch that program back and just enjoy it and feel excited about it but I can't. I've watched Evan win the Gold tons of times but I really don't ever watch that free dance.

  15. #15
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    This isn't very bittersweet but on the day of the 2010 closing ceremony I caught the horrible 24hour bug my sister brought home from the public school where she worked at the time. I wasn't feeling well all evening and at the exact moment Michael J. Fox appeared, I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. Nothing against MJF, just horrible timing

    Needless to say, that day is now etched in my memory

  16. #16

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    I'm an Olympic "junkie"; and have always watched avidly.

    My earliest "Olympic memory" is watching Carol Heiss take the Athletes Oath at the opening ceremony in 1960!
    I was six.

  17. #17
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    I associate the Olympics with family and good times with some bittersweet I recall my first olympics that I really remember and a tiny Olga Korbt in 1972.. I was 8 years old and doing my badges in gymnastics (BAGA), the next day I wore pig tails just like Olga. I also remember the shock at such a young age of athletes being killed and being confused and my mom crying

    1976 Olympics was special because it was in Canada and by then we had decided as a family to try and emigrate there and of course Nadia and the perfect 10's..

    In the 80's I remember the disappointment with Ben Johnson.. but also Mary Lou.. so tiny and powerful.. Also the disappointment of politics and it's impact on the Olympics

    With our own daughter we have always bought her Olympic wear and followed her athletic dreams and aspirations of being in the summer and winter olympics like her hero Clara Hughes.. as she made national championships in both cycling and speed skating.. we even supported her dream back to GB to make the British team in her sport.. but then bitter sweet memories of injuries and concussions.. but happy now to see so many of her friends make both the summer and winter Olympics and support their families.. we even book our vacation time to be off..

    finally my dream is to go to Sochi after I win the lottery that is
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

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