Saturday, July 28, 2012

Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012



Today heralds the beginning of the Olympic Games being held this year in London. I love a good sporting event and the Olympics would have to be the ultimate sporting event for me featuring so many sports in just two weeks. An opportunity for people from all over the world to come together to compete against each other in a friendly environment without prejudice.

The Olympic flag being flown half mast to pay respect to the Israeli athletes who lost their lives in the hostage tragedy in Munich 1972.

My earliest memories of watching the Olympics was back in 1972 in Munich when I was 8 years old (nearly my daughter's age). Because of the time difference between Australia and Germany, my Dad would wake me up in the early hours of the morning to watch the sporting achievements and records being broken. I  have such vivid memories of doing this at every Olympics thereafter (plus many other major world sporting events) with my Dad until his passing in 1992.


The next Olympics in 1976 in Montreal, Canada uncovered the amazing efforts of the young Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. I can vividly remember watching her score a perfect 10 on the uneven bars.  From Wikipedia:
At the age of 14, Comăneci became one of the stars of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. During the team portion of the competition on July 18, her routine on the uneven bars was awarded a perfect ten. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. Since the scoreboards were not equipped to display scores of 10.0, Nadia's perfect marks were flashed as 1.00 instead. The crowd was at first confused, but soon understood and gave her a rousing ovation. Over the course of the Olympics, Comăneci would earn six additional tens, en route to capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. The Romanian team also placed second in the team competition, capturing silver.
Official swimming costume for the Australian Olympic team in 1984.
The only Olympics I wasn't planted in front of the TV at every waking moment, funnily enough, was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. It was the right time and an affordable time for my sister and I to do a road trip in the US so I can remember watching the opening ceremony in a motel room in Kingman, Arizona.
Libby Trickett, Australian swimmer, wins the 100m women's butterfly in Beijing.

The last Olympics in Beijing, China, my children were only 3 and 1 so didn't know anything about the Olympics. I'm having a great time telling them about all the different types of sporting events competed in at the Olympics and can't wait to start watching it with them. They might be too young to watch the Games in the early hours of the morning but I'll have so many ways to show them highlights on recorded cable TV, Youtube, news program highlights, live streaming on the Internet and other TV programs. So different to those days back in the 1970's where if you missed it on TV or the news, you had to read about it in the newspaper. There'll also probably be merchandise with 'not-so-happy' meals so they'll get to know all about it in one way or another.


Oh, and if you don't hear it enough over the next two weeks, here it is, with lyrics, the Australian national anthem "Advance Australia Fair". Hopefully that annoying chant, "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi" will be replaced by something else. Go Aussies!!!


4 comments:

  1. It a very exciting day for everyone! Sounds like you have some wonderful memories of watching the Olympics!

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  2. I love your memory of being woken by your Dad to watch the games. For some reason I'm not that excited about these Olympics, usually I am! We only caught the last part of the opening ceremony this morning. I'm very excited though about the prospect of Mia being old enough to understand it all by the next games!

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  3. Go the Aussies....
    Thanks for popping over..xx

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  4. Do you remember Olga Korbut from the 72 olympics? My friends couldn't stop talking about her!

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