Posts tagged as:

Winter Olympics

and greatness…

I took the first flight out to Boston this morning. Right before we took off, the flight attendant announced that we had an Olympic Silver medalist in our midst: Molly Schaus, Goalie on the US Olympic Women’s Hockey team, was on the flight. We all clapped. The flight attendant walked down the aisle with the Silver Medal so that we could see the medal. I so wanted to touch it but of course I didn’t ask…

I was surprised to realize that Molly was sitting in the very back of the plane. For sure, for someone that just won us a Silver medal at the Winter Olympics you’d thought United Airlines would have given her a better seat. But the flight was full, and I’d like to assume that otherwise the crew would have tried hard to set her up with a better seat.

After I got off the plane, I waited by the gate, feeling a bit silly and awkward. I frantically tried to google her name on my Blackberry to make sure that I’d heard the flight attendant correctly. At the same time I was panicking since really, HOW was I going to recognize her?! Then business suits walked past me one after another. No. Not Molly. No. Not her. No way that’s her. Then I saw a young woman by herself, and you could tell by the way she carried herself that she is a professional athlete. Isn’t it amazing someone like me who never ever likes to exercise knows this about an athlete?

This may surprise you, but I am shy, in front of strangers, in public. I mustered up all the courage I had at that moment to step into the middle of the walkway and asked, “Are you Molly?”

She looked a bit surprised, but quickly smiled and said, “Yes.”

I extended my hand, and thankfully she took it.  I shook her hand and said, “Congratulations!!!”

She seemed happy and maybe a bit shy about my putting her on the spot. “Thanks!” she said. Then I watched her walk away.

Imagine that. An Olympic Silver Medalist. And I shook her hand!


Sorry about the quality of the picture. I didn’t see anybody else taking out their phones to take a picture of this awesome moment, and frankly, was a bit disappointed at my planemates for not making a big deal out of this. This IS a big deal. Or is it just me? Anyway, I am still very excited about this chance encounter. Silly? Maybe. But you bet I will forever seek out the news of Molly Schaus and cheer for her.


Olympic Silver Medal - US Women's Hockey


  • Share/Bookmark


We have been watching the Winter Olympics. I didn’t plan to. But what’s not to love really? Finally something on prime time that does not involve dead bodies, sexual predators, or its own mythologies.

Naturally I gravitated towards Ice Dancing and Figure Skating. (No, I don’t really want to engage in a debate about how Ice Dancing does not count as a sport and should not even be included in the Olympics. Thank you very much).

Last Sunday though, we caught a glimpse of the Super-Combined and the boys and I were hooked. We don’t ski. Skiing has never entered my mind as a recreational option despite our proximity to some relatively inexpensive hills in Wisconsin. The word “skiing” conjures up images of Vail and the fancy schmancy aura surrounding “Skiing resorts” in my psyche. Memories of seeing people refusing to do away with their lift tickets still hanging on their zipper pulls long after their last skiing trip without any hope of ever going back again this season.

What was shown on TV was exhilarating. The commentators were talking about Bode Miller as this Comeback Kid. Everybody loves a good comeback story. So we held our breath as he rushed downhill. The camera at one point cut to his mother, I assume, with her hand to her mouth watching her son intently, perhaps with a bit comprehension. The camera zoomed in further to try to catch an emotional moment. Everybody loves a good human interest perspective in the games of sports.

With his eyes still on the screen, my oldest commented,

“You know, when I or [my brother] go to the Olympics? You have to remember that you are always on camera. So you have to remember to look good all the time. Don’t let the camera catch you tweeting or Facebooking! That’s the lesson we should learn here.”


Our job goal as far as our kids are concerned as parents is to never embarrass them. I am sure with me as a mother THIS is constantly on his mind. Later when one of the athletes crashed on the snowy course and thus dashed his dream for any medal, for yet another human interest angle, the camera mercilessly zoomed in on the father who buried his face in his hands, leaned his forehead against the fence, visibly shaking.

My preteen reached across the sofa, grabbed both of my hands, and besought me,

“Promise me. You will never do that! Don’t cry like that if we lose. Promise me!”

I simply laughed. For sure, this is a promise I will not be able to keep…



I also learned that athletes for Winter Sports live on the wild-er side, and they either have no mental filters because they are so adorably honest, or they are simply really really high, like “high”, when they are on the high mountains…

Read this quote from Norway silver medalist Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset as reported in Sports Illustrated… and tell me if it is not one of the best…

“My name is Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset. I skied the second lap and I f—– up today. I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days. I have the room next to Petter Northhug and every day there is noise in there. So I think that is the reason I f—– up. By the way, Tiger Woods is a really good man.”

(Sports Illustrated Writer’s note: By far the craziest quote released by the VANOC information desk over the past 13 days.)


Or this quote from Graham Watanabe, a snowboarder from the U.S.

“It’s feeling a lot more like this is my first Olympics. Try to imagine Pegasus mating with a unicorn and the creature that they birth. I somehow tame it and ride it into the sky in the clouds and sunshine and rainbows. That’s what it feels like.”



Update: Naptime Writing had written in a post “Lessons from the Olympics” which has a list of the things she learned about human nature from this Olympics that was observant, profound, hilarious at the same time. Knowing my readers, I just want to emphasize hilarious. I was grateful that she commented on the “fake flesh-colored” costumes worn by the skaters to make them look like they are wearing skimpy outfits when actually they are not. So it’s not just me.

  • Share/Bookmark


i tweet too much