News events from my Childhood #2
I’ve always loved watching the Olympics. My favorite sports to watch during the summer games are the usual ones – gymnastics, swimming, track and field. I always get roped into watching as much as I can, however – who knew rowing, volleyball or water polo could be so engrossing? With the 2012 London Olympics about to start, it only seemed fitting that I recall a banner year for the Olympics:
Two women rose to great prominence in the 1976 Olympics; Dorothy Hamill and Nadia Comaneci. This was back in the day when both the summer and winter games were held the same year, not staggered as they are now.
The winter games featured Dorothy Hamill. I honestly don’t remember much about her performance, but I do remember the media firestorm that resulted when she won the gold in ladies figure skating. She was praised coast to coast, especially her bobbed hairstyle. I even had my hair cut into “the Hamill” for a while; it’s one of the few “popular” styles that looked good on me. A year or so later I remember begging my parents to get tickets to see the Ice Capades, which she was starring in since she went pro. They obliged, and I loved every minute of it. I no longer have the program, but I definitely remember particularly liking the bit they did called Tin Pan Alley.
Dorothy after winning her medal
Meanwhile, the summer games brought Nadia Comaneci. A true pioneer, Nadia got seven perfect scores in ladies gymnastics in 1976, all while being the youngest ever to win the all-around title. I recall her floor routine during the all-around particularly well, and how the audience went nuts when she finished. Even though she finished third in that individual event (winning a Bronze medal for it), she got gold in everything else. Another media firestorm erupted, and in the following years her defection from Soviet-held Romania generated headlines. Riveting stuff.
Nadia on the cover of Time
The Joy of Sport
I am by no means an athlete (not even close!), which is why I’m the perfect spectator. Not being a sports fan, however, means I’m the perfect spectator for the Olympics since it’s not being broadcast every single year. (I also love to watch the World Cup tournament, too!) Every time the Olympics rolls around I can’t help but find myself glued to the TV or checking online for updates. And yes, I fully expect to watch stuff over the next two weeks that I normally never get to see. There will always be a new champion.
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