I was eight years old during the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, old enough to recognize that Torville and Dean’s “Bolero” performance was magic. My growing up (which I’m still doing, thankfully) is dotted with Olympic memories–MaryLou vaulting to her 10s, Katerina Witt’s “Carmen,” Kerri Strug’s one-footed landing (yes, I’m a little heavy on ice skating and gymnastics).
But even more than the performances, I love the stories of the athletes. The behind-the-scenes, “this is what their life is like” stories that inspire and make me believe that almost anything is possible. It’s the only time I ever enjoy Visa commercials (Go World–yes!).
These stories make me recognize that no one achieves great things alone. There are always coaches, family, friends, even sponsors. The faces behind the face intrigue me as well.
It also reminds me how brutal life can be–that it’s possible to spend a lifetime training for a four-minute moment and have everything fall apart. I still can’t decide who I admire more–those who win or those who don’t.
So what are your favorite Olympic memories? And if you ever won a gold medal, who would you thank for helping you get there?