Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Golden moments

I love the Olympics. I've always been a fan, even since I was a little kid. Back then, I'd watch the figure skating or the gymnastics, whatever the season may be, and after the performance run into the family room to practice my own jump and twirl routines.

Over the years, my passion for the games waned a bit. But it seems to be back in full force for 2010. I am totally and completely fascinated by the Olympics this year, and it's pretty much all that I have been watching since the Opening Ceremonies on Friday (I'm watching the men's figure skating right now, as a matter of fact). I've always favored the summer Olympics, since I am partial to the swimming and gymnastics events. But winter sports that I have never before been intrigued by have caught my attention this year. Moguls, snowboard cross, ski jumping... so cool. How is it that I never cared to watch these before? Though, as Ashley said so perfectly in this post, some of the events are pretty ridiculous when you think about them. Back-flipping on skis? Sliding down the luge at 90 miles per hour? And the strangest to me of all: curling. Seriously, who came up with that?

Still, my heart will always belong to figure skating. Every time I watch I wish that my mother had put me in ice skating lessons. I love the grace of the skaters as they dance on the ice and how when they are on they make the technically challenging look effortlessly beautiful. Though, I have to admit, it does stress me out a bit. I hold my breath every time they jump in the air, exhaling a sigh of relief when they land safely and gasping when they crash to the ground.

As an American, I definitely root for Team U.S.A. all the way. But the thing I love about the Olympics is how it brings the world together, connecting us-- funnily enough-- through competition. I cheer on athletes from other countries just as loudly as I do athletes from the U.S., and sometimes louder. Thanks to NBC, I become invested in their stories, their dreams, their quest for gold. And I want it for them. Especially for our friends north of the border, the Canadians. The pressure is already crazy high for all the Olympians, but none so much as those from Canada.

And can we just talk for a second about how amazingly beautiful Vancouver is, and British Columbia in general? I've been to Vancouver and Victoria, but I want to go back. This commercial (and the longer version here) makes me want to pack my bags every time I see it.

I've watched a lot of Olympics coverage the last five days and there's been a lot of great moments, both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. Here's my favorite (happy) moments from the 2010 games, so far:

The Opening Ceremonies.

American skier Hannah Kearney winning gold 
in the women's moguls.

Alexandre Bilodeau winning Canada's first gold 
of the 2010 games-- and its first gold on home soil-- 
in men's moguls.

The stunning short program performance by 
China's cutest couple, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, 
followed by another killer routine 
that finally brought them their first Olympic gold. 

And since I just watched him skate a flawlessly executed performance, can I just say how hot Evan Lysacek is? I mean, just look at the American skater's modeling portfolio images:

You're welcome.

So, have you been watching the Olympics with me? What is your favorite part? Do you have a favorite "golden" moment?

{Wednesday update:} 
I'm adding Lindsey Vonn taking gold to my list of favorite Olympic moments. She is the first American woman to win gold in downhill! 
She is beautiful, sassy and strong-- both physically and mentally-- and after all the pain she had to fight through recently, I'm so happy for her! I loved her reaction once she crossed the finish line; she was so ecstatic she couldn't even contain herself, letting out screams of joy.

What's more, Vonn's teammate Julia Mancuso nabbed silver.
Congrats girls!

Opening Ceremonies photos via The Huffington Post
Evan Lysacek images via his official website
All other photos via NBC


Dionne said...

I only saw part of the opening ceremony online, I haven't caught any of the events. I used to have Olympic Fever bad back in Oz, but I guess because I root for the Aussies, and everyone here goes for the Americans, it's not as exciting to watch it with everyone. But I do love the figure skating! Aussies never win that, hahahaha.

Katy Mary said...

Huuuuge fan of the Olympics! Totally bummed that I forgot to watch mens figure skating last night! thank goodness for my DVR!!

tinypaperheart said...

great pictures. :)

bianca said...

I was positive I wasn't going to watch the Olympics and then I totally got sucked in! And Evan Lysacek = yummy

Phoenix said...

Totally hooked on the Olympics. I grew up watching figure skating so I'll always have a place in my heart for it.

I was so excited when Hannah won - she was a true underdog, coming in 22nd at the Torino winter Olympics - she was so cute and humble when she won!!

re: opening ceremonies. Oh my God, 3-D orca whales? I just about died of happiness.

Ashley said...

Mens double luge has forced me to admit that the Winter Olympics are completely absurd, but I still love them!

Andhari said...

I live so far away but even my country's big on olympics. It really brought everyone together, for sure :)

You Are My Fave said...

The Olympics are and always will be my fave. I love all the happy moments and the spirit that encompasses the games. I'm sleep deprived because of them but I can't stop watching. The best two weeks!