Am I the only weirdo who gets depressed when the Olympics are over? I’m pretty sure that I’m the only dork that put the Olympics on his desk calendar when I filled it out at the beginning of the year. I also have the International Olympic Committee’s website marked as one of my favorites on my computer. That way, I can always check in to see how many days there are until the next Olympics begin. Go ahead and make fun of me. I’m a tool, I know. I realized long ago that constantly humming “Bugler’s Dream” in public wasn’t quite normal.
Yes, I love the Olympics. I love watching the world’s greatest athletes perform on the biggest stage imaginable. I love getting to know these athletes, their stories, their struggles, their dreams. I love being able to root for complete strangers, hoping to see their dreams realized. I don’t care if it is swimming or rowing, gymnastics or fencing, sprinting or cycling – I love it all. Some of them succeed. Others fail. But, there is no other event where one can see the pure, unadulterated emotion that these athletes share with us - whether that is the absolute joy of victory or the crushing pain of defeat. It really is an awesome display of human emotion and drive.
While there is no denying that I enjoy the competitive aspect of the Olympic Games, what is even more important for me are the personal memories I associate with each games. I know, I’m a sentimental dolt. Yet, the Olympics help to provide a framework, a moment in time, for me to look back happily on some of my fondest memories – memories of who I am, who I was, and of who I was becoming. They provide another example of how time moves so quickly, reminding me that – no matter how much money I make or save – it is not money but ”time” that is our most precious asset.
My Olympic Memories
I was only 2o-years old when Michael Phelps competed at his first Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He was 15. Those Olympics remind me of the summer I spent in Colorado, and my friends from Australia who worked with me there. I often wonder what became of Shane and Kat, but I have no way of knowing now. I remember the hours spent watching curling with my roommates during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, rushing home from rehearsals to watch the late night rebroadcast until the wee hours of the morning. The 2004 Athens Summer Games marked the end of one chapter in my life, acting, and the beginning of another – meeting my future wife. I’ll never forget watching the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics in my new house with Holly. I’d come home from work each night and sit in our living room, glued to the television as we cheered on Michael Phelps as he swam to 8 gold medals. I remember that Holly was just a few weeks pregnant then, but we did not know it.
And now, I’ll have the memories from these London Olympic Games as well. Four years from now, while I’ll fondly remember the names of Phelps, Bolt, and Douglas, I’ll look back and think of my young family. I’ll think about how my oldest daughter saw the “swimming divers” perform their acrobatics from a 3-meter springboard for the first time. I’ll remember her face as she looked on in awe, saying, “Whoa! Daddy, will they do that again?!?” I’ll remember staying up late with her so that she could see the best gymnasts in the world perform their routines. I’ll remember sitting on my couch, watching my two little girls play in front of the television while I watched the U.S. women win our country’s first water polo gold. I’ll remember the time that my wife and I worked hard on a blossoming little blog, a hobby that we enjoyed together. Hopefully, this little hobby of ours will still be around four years from now.
Time Moves Quickly
Four years seems like such a long time, but it really goes by in the blink of an eye. By the time that the Rio Summer Olympic Games come around four years from now, we plan on having our house paid off. We may even be in our dream house by then, a house we will have paid for in cash. Both of our girls will be in school, possibly starting to dream Olympic dreams of their own. Will my girls grow-up to be another Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, or Hope Solo? Will girls around the world someday dream of being just like them, saying, “Whoa Daddy! Will she do that again?” I don’t have any idea. However, I know that their Olympics could be just a few cycles away. Time goes by so fast.
So, farewell to the London Summer Olympic Games of 2012. Thank you to the athletes for sharing your gifts with us for these past two weeks. Thank you for serving as a reference point in time, a point that I may look back and remember my young family during the greatest year of our life. Thank you for reminding me that everyday we experience many different moments – some good and some bad. Regardless of whether the moments are good or bad, these moments make us who we are. And, once those moments are gone, they are gone forever, living on only in our memories. London, thank you for hosting a great Olympic Games. So, while I’ll be excited to experience it all again in Sochi and Rio, I’d be remiss if I said that I can’t wait for those games to begin. For time goes by so quickly, but it is the most precious asset we have.