The alarm on my phone begins beeping incessantly and annoyingly at 5 O’clock in the morning. Groggily, I reach for my phone, taking a second to get my bearings and remember why I’m awake. I jump out of my bed and make a quick pit stop at the bathroom before heading downstairs. I don’t have an early morning job. I don’t have an exam or a test. I don’t have a romantic sunrise date. No, what I have, is Olympic Fever. Track and field starts at 5:05 am and I’m determined to see as much live coverage as I can.
I think I’ve ALWAYS had Olympic fever, at least as far back as I can remember. Perhaps it’s because I was born in an Olympic year, less than a month after the conclusion of one of the most exciting winter Games in history. Perhaps it’s because I have an athletic family. Whatever the reason, I’ve got the fever!
During the 1984 summer Games, I broke our television set trying to emulate the weightlifters. Needless to say, at 4 years old, I could not clean and jerk our TV! Every Olympic games since then has left me with lifelong memories and made an impression on who I am and who I dream to become. Olympic fever was with me as I ran around my family room celebrating Ben Johnson’s 100m victory. It was with me as I watched with fascination the knees of Jean-Luc Brassard and the exultant shouts of Mark Tewksbury after his Gold medal swim. It was with me as I sock skated along the kitchen tile with Elvis Stojko and lost my voice cheering for Donovan Bailey’s world record performance. I stuck the landing with Kerri Strug and shot my invisible bow and arrow with Usain Bolt. And of course, I have my own personal Olympic memory: Marching into BC Place to thousands of screaming fans; losing myself in the glorious sensation of maximum effort; singing O Canada at the top of my lungs with a silver medal around my neck.
Trying to name all of the special memories I have would be exhausting and impossible. Yet, if I had to, I could do it because each memory is special. And every two years I marvel at the spectacle of athletic excellence the world puts on and for two weeks I am completely enthralled.
So, if I haven’t gone out much, or returned phone calls or emails promptly you’ll have to excuse me…I’m pretty sure I’ve come down with a fever. But don’t worry, I think I’ll probably be feeling better in about 7 days ! J