Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Awwww, COME ON!

One of the funnest Olympic games to play in the NBC compound is the, “What Are They Watching?” game. There are a ton of monitors on all over the place and with about a billion sports going on at all times, you never quite know what’s going on. You’ll hear some raucous cheering down the hall… or, more likely, the guttural caveman yell of someone watching a feed by himself.

It never, ever fails that after a few random, unsourced, “COME ON!!”’s, someone will look up and say, “what are they watching?” It’s also equally as likely that a comedian in the crowd, without even looking up, will say, “equestrian.”

this ain't no city championship...

I'm a bit behind on my thoughts here because I have stuff I want to write about but it's from two days ago. I also have stuff I want to write about but it's from last night. But if I don't write about what happened two days ago, then the last night stuff won't make as much sense and then I'll just be confusing instead of my typical, crystal clear self and omg, I don't know if I could live with that and so I think I'll just continue to write this really long sentence that makes no sense but I can't seem to step writing and hold on.... and end scene.


I'm back.

There was a piece of fluff that NBC produced for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials that featured Tasha Schwikert's mom talking about how she thought Tasha needed to step it up if she wanted to qualify for the Olympics. For perspective - Tasha was a member of the 2000 Olympic Team, the national champion in 2001 and 2002 and a member of the U.S.'s first gold medal winning team at the 2003 World Championships.

So clearly, this is someone who needs to step it up, right?

(she actually did need to step it up - she was enormously talented but not that into work. She came around at a time when our team just wasn't all that strong and, as her mom told us in the fluff piece, had been "bluffing" her way through at times thanks to her extraordinarily competitive mind)

Ok, so.. yea? During that fluff piece, her marvelously eloquent mom (a Vegas dealer) said what has to be the best line used in a fluff piece ever. She said.... wait for it.... waiiiitt for it....

"This ain't no city championships, Tasha. This is the Olympics."

It is killing me that I can't find that video on YouTube right now. KILLING. ME. I need to see it!!!

Why? Oh, right - I'll get to that now.

China's men team has been the strongest team on the scene for years now. Just dominant. They almost always show up looking fit, strong and ready and even when they don't appear to have their mental game altogether there, they're still so ahead of everyone else that they can usually still run away with it. Annoying Japan all the way to the podium.

In prelims, China looked like I do after a night spent working the gate of Festa Italiana. Drinking, laughing with (at) Italians, those weird doughnut thingys and gross meat? Yea. That all means that I don't look great at 8am. And China looked worse.

As I watched and worked along with one of the gymnastics researchers, I started groaning (and tweeting) at the Chinese having such a craptastic competition. "Why aren't they even trying?!?!" And I'm not sure who quoted it first but, all of a sudden, we couldn't stop saying, "this ain't no city championship!!!"

It didn't make it any easier to watch, but it did make it funnier every time they would fail. Which was like, oh, every time they did gymnastics.

It was so disturbing – and annoying - to see this legend of a team suddenly look like they were competing for Alaska University’s club team. They just totally gave up and had zero fight in them. As a friend of mine, who is more eloquent than Tasha’s mom, says, “Please watch your dormant face!”

I mean, honestly, China – at least LOOK like you’re interested in the Olympics. This ain’t no city championships!!

Whatever, China. At least we still have Japan. Japan can win this thing and set right the world of gymnastics, right?

Oh, well great. Just great. Usually incredible Japan looks like they’re competing on Alaska’s club team too.


Oh, hey, hey, hey. Hold the beam. What’s going on is that Team USA looks like they came to play! What, what?!??! They’re in first after the qualifying rounds? Seriousballs? That’s NEVER happened. Oh. My. Nadia.

Ok. So there was the silver lining of the evening. China and Japan sucked donkeyballs but our U.S. boys showed up looking ready to dominate the world. They were just on fire. So strong, so ready, so confident and performing like a team who understands they’re competing at the OLYMPICS.

We prepped tons of content talking about how the U.S. Men were in position to not only win an Olympic medal but a gold medal. Their first gold medal since the 1984 Olympics (when the Soviets and Eastern bloc countries boycotted so it’s always marred by that asterisk that basically says, “yea they won, but they totally didn’t deserve it” – Sorry, Bart.)

The men’s team final day arrived (way too quickly) and gymnastics row was fired up (gymnastics row being the back row of the nbcolympics.com and researchers room which includes 2 gymn producers and 2 gymn researchers – basically, live action gymnastics wiki). We had already devised a plan where I had promised to scrape them off the floor after the U.S. men won and then would hold them up by the scruffs of their necks while they feverishly put together highlights. It was flawless.

One problem – the U.S. men basically stunk up the joint by performing scared. They were so tentative and nervous – they were performing as if they had something to lose. Not something to gain.

Olympic lesson #42 – Olympic gold is always yours to win. Never yours to lose. You have to earn it. Every time. When you start trying to play a game of keep-away with gold, you’re definitely going to lose.

You cannot perform scared. The Olympic gods KNOW.

However, while the U.S. men were busy stumbling their way to a fifth place finish, China finally looked at the date and realized, “oh, hey guys – we’re AT the Olympics!” (I realize the weather is chilly but really, there’s no mistaking London for Alaska). But it was a great relief to see China finally show up and compete like China.

They won. Yay.

Anyway. The real fun was the Great Britain team killing it and earning their first Olympic team medal since 1928. The only thing that blew was that the judges failed to credit the last Japanese competitor (gym god, Kohei Uchinura – all hail!) with his dismount so at first it appeared that GB had won the silver medal when in reality, they won the bronze. Once they added back in the .7 points for Kohei, the Japanese moved up to 2nd.

But to the crowd, it absolutely appeared that GB was suddenly robbed of the silver medal – so an accomplishment that should have blown the roof off the joint ended up being a tad bittersweet for the audience. Not sure if the team felt that way (they didn’t look it) but that’s not the way you want to earn a medal. And of course, the press can’t shut up about it. Shut up about it already. You’re pooping on their moment!

Of course, the real loser of the evening was Ukraine, who ended up in fourth place after Japan got their points. But you know what, Ukraine – too bad. I don’t care. You’ve been breaking my gymnastics heart since 1997. Remember in 2000 when you had the all-around gold medal wrapped up and your athlete decided to trip and give it away?

Because I remember. She tripped! TRIPPED! (Viktoria Karpenko – 2000, Sydney, floor.)

So no sympathy for you, Ukraine. Sorry. I’m not sorry.

Today is the women’s team final and I’m very nervous which would explain this long rambly post that probably includes a lot of bad grammar. If the U.S. women’s team doesn’t win the gold today, something very, very bad will have happened and the researchers will be scraping ME off the floor.

Cross everything you have.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thanks, Ryan!

Ok - this is cool. My very awesome cousin, Ryan, pointed out that my pic of Ryan Seacrest and the U.S. women's team made the buzzfeed list of best Olympians to follow (talking about Jordyn Wieber)

Buzzfeed's list of best Olympians to follow

(and if you're too lazy to click on the link - here's a screen grab. You lazy sod)

Does this mean I'm famous now? It does? Ok, great. Can someone please fetch me a latte? Thanks. Make it soy!

Paula!!! Noooo!!!!

UGH. It was just announced on the BBC that Paula Radcliffe isn't going to compete in the marathon due to injury. She's a major legend here and one of my favorite athletes.

This. Sucks.

Opening Ceremony - kind of

"At times brilliant, at others, baffling."

Yep. That's about right.

Best tweet of the night - "Remember when China did this way better?" (@hipstermermaid)

Best moment - that gorgeous cauldron. Wow.Wow.Wow.

I actually enjoyed the replays more than the live broadcast because when it was happening live, all I could think about was how bummed I was that it wasn't Roger Bannister. All I could think was, "wait - seriously??!?! You're letting these CHILDREN light the torch?" (btw kids - enjoy the massive amounts of pressure that you're going to endure for the rest of your lives - "Oh, you're the kid who was nominated by a legend to light the cauldron? Wow - why aren't you better at life?")

Ok. That's all I have time to say about the Opening Ceremony right now - it's the women's prelims round today which means we have 14 hours of live coverage to get through. WHEE!! But don't worry, my friends, I have many, many, many feelings about it that I will share when I have time to sit down and properly write some stuff.

(I say a lot of things like "properly" and "massive" because I'm really British right now.)

One thing I do have time to say is that when asking people about the ceremony yesterday, I was very careful to lead with, "what did YOU think about it?" Because if they were British, chances are they thought it was beautiful. If they weren't, they probably made the same squished face that I did, the face you make when you're trying to understand why anyone would make a shower with only half a door

London, I get it, you're trying to be economically responsible for the games but seriously - I could use the rest of my door now, please. It makes for some awkward mornings.

I've heard that the BBC folks are using NBC's compound to take a few hits at BBC's cheapness at the games - saying things like, "NBC has an entire Starbucks and all the BBC did was put out a teapot!" 

Now normally, I would say something kind to help people understand they why behind the coffee and the commissary and how it's just not feasible to NOT have these things due to the schedules people keep, etc - but my real reaction is to say, "HA! Suck it BBC!"

What was I talking about? Oh, right - the Opening Ceremony. Wow... I guess I did have some time to say a few words about it. Oh well. It's really far more important to cater to my ADD at this point.


Friday, July 27, 2012


At the past two Olympics, I’ve gotten 2 or 3 songs stuck in my head and they, unfortunately, end up powering me through the games. There’s just so much crap stimulating your brain - from all of the various sports noise to the monitors to the conversations you’re catching snippets of, to your email and twitter and texts and phone and more email and IMs…. And …. Hold please…. breathe..... Ok, I’m back. So anyway, when my mind starts buzzing out of control and I need to reel it all back in, I put a mindless song on repeat and I settle back down.

In Beijing, my go to zone-out song was (and yes, I realize that this is SO embarrassing) Miley Cyrus, “7 Things”. And there was something else that I’m not remembering. Something by the Veronicas I think. (and YES!! I realize that’s not any better! Shut up!)

In Vancouver it was “One Day” and “Indestructible” from Matisyahu – One Day because it was the NBC promo song and Indestructible because I would run to it in the morning and those runs were some of my favorite moments from those games. (The song is a bit heavy on the ‘yay god’ stuff for me but otherwise lovely.) I can still see the NBC promo to One Day when I hear that song. It’s massively embedded in my head. When I die and my life flashes before me (which, btw, will be hilarious) that promo will probably find a way in to the highlight reel.

So, in London, because I’ve had such horrifying taste in mindless music in the past, I’ve been trying to get my brain to be cool with a little LCD Soundsystem, or maybe a little Paul Simon, even. Just anything to make me feel like I'm not a 13 year old mall going teen. But alas –all my brain wants is…. sigh…. “Call Me Maybe”

I KNOW!!!!!!!!

::places headphones on…. zones out::

P.S. - I'm in good company, at least!
U.S. Swimmer's take on the song

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Seacrest IN!

I got a chance to trail Ryan Seacrest and the U.S. Women's gymnastics team as they visited the NBC studios to do media with the Today Show and snap some pics along with the official photographer.

Ryan showed up to lunch with the girls. Not ugly.

 The girls were trying to enjoy a super private, cozy lunch. Or not.

Considering the fact that when they entered the comissary, a HUGE cheer went up as someone announced them ("Ladies and gentlemen, the women's gymnastics team!"), they were remarkably composed. It's not that they were ignoring what was going on around them, they were just very focused on the task at hand - which was lunch. (salad, sandwiches and fruit)

I'm not sure if they were expecting Ryan to be there or not - they knew they were doing an interview with him - but I'm not sure if they thought he would crash their lunch. But they took it in stride - just as they seemed to take everything.

After their conversation (giving the cameras enough time to grab footage for the Today Show segment with Ryan and Savannah Guthrie tomorrow), one of the girls asked Ryan if they could get a picture with him. He cheerfully obliged (which, impressive considering he's one busy dude)

After they'd posed for a few pictures, Ryan said, "hey! let's all do the splits!" The girls giggled and thought he was kidding but he persisted, even starting to demonstrate what he wanted to do. Again, the girls totally went with it.

Here he is showing that he's totally serious about everyone doing the splits.

McKayla found it hilarious

He's got pretty good flexibility for a tv show host. He must do a lot of Pilates. And Zumba. (a couple of the girls actually tweeted out the pic I took - I felt twitter cool. Which is different from real cool in that it just doesn't matter.)

And then it was time to get down to business. The girls were herded throughout the NBC compound to do various interviews. Not easy to stay focused on when you've got your biggest athletic challenge coming in two days. But they looked SO strong in podium training today, it's hard to imagine that this had any sort of effect on them - negative OR positive. They're as cool as can be right now.

They whipped through their vault rotation so quickly and fiercely today during podium training that it was almost scary. Just insanely huge and difficult vaults, one after the other. They were putting on a clinic of vault excellence and it was only training! They are on fire right now. Just praying, wishing, hoping and sacrificing chickens that they pull it all together when it counts.

Because if they lose this team title - it will be a travesty.

Love this pic of the girls on the monitors as they shot their segment.

The NBCOlympics.com photo gallery

It can be a bit harrowing to make your way around the halls of NBC at the Olympics. Everyone is in a massive hurry and everyone’s head is either buried in their phone or buried in thought.... which leads to a lot of fast walking almost-collisions. Every open doorway is a potential crash waiting to happen. People come flying around corners and the hallways have a constant stream of, “ohh, sorry… oof…. My bad… watch… cheers, mate… idiot!” (well, the last one is mostly said on the inside. By me. Because I watch where I’m going.)

It is two days before the Opening Ceremony and the Olympic pulse is starting to pick up. Women’s soccer got underway today and France scored the first goal. After that first goal, a collective gasp went out quickly followed by a series of subconcious tee-hee's as people put their heads back to their work. I definitely wasn't the only one who didn’t realize I was even watching. It just becomes a subconscious thing – Olympic action that matters? Your eyes are looking at the tv. You don’t even know how they got there.

I was walking down the hall after the game and someone commented that the U.S. team had taken the lead in the game. One guy said to the other, "god.... stupid France"

I concur.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time to get going

I'm not great with my left and right. I can barely read an analog clock and I basically suck at math. What that all means is that this thing in my room is just a terrible, cruel joke.

 People that love clocks in the 24 hour time format are like people that love to drink coffee black. It's just .... no, you don't. You don't. How could you? It's disgusting. Like this clock.

(I've now spelled clock wrong about 3 times. Not. Great. Or family friendly)

(And also - I should clarify - I'm not talking about people who grew up with a clock like this. I can 'almost' get how they would be used to it. I'm talking about other lazy Americans who grew up with a mickey mouse digital wristwatch. Or, the green Kermit the Frog one I had.)

Speaking of black coffee. Which I did not drink this morning. I'm trying to turn myself into a green tea drinker in the morning. For two reasons - one, the rest of my day will be filled with starbucks but two, the only coffee in the room is instant and wow - although I decided it wasn't terrible yesterday, I woke up today and thought, yea, no, I don't have to do that today. 

So green tea it is - maybe it'll make me more British. Man, I'm loving hearing their voices everywhere. Can you imagine if I returned with a british accent? Oh my god, I'd be so annoying, it'd be awesome!

Two very long days of Podium Training begin today. Friday is a day of no gymnastics (although definitely NOT an off day) and then two even longer days of preliminary competition on Saturday and Sunday. Podium Training is basically the dress rehearsal for the athletes and the judges - and us. The athletes get used to what it feels like to compete on a raised podium. Not something they typically do - except for world and Olympic competition. The U.S. Championships is on a podium but we're one of the few countries with the resources to be able to do that. I'm pretty sure Canada's national championship took place in a middle school gymnasium during a PTA meeting.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Insight from the U.S. Women's head coach

Great blog post from U.S. Olympic head coach, John Geddart (personal coach of Jordyn Wieber) about the past week, finishing up training and all the Olympic swag.

John Geddart's blog

Jordyn Wieber - then and now

Jordyn Wieber, who is poised to grab the Olympic All-Around gold medal, was a ten year old phenom back in 2006

6 years ago at the junior national championships

Here she is a few weeks ago at U.S. Championships

She's always been a precise little duck.

I remember when she first appeared on the scene as a fetus and I thought, "well, she's adorable and strong but there's NO WAY she'll last until 2012. Not a chance." But she hung in there, kept improving and, most importantly, played it very smart when she was injured.

Most gymnasts will rush their return in order to not miss competitions or training but she and her coach knew the ultimate goal was the 2012 games, not the 2009 whatever competition. Very impressive to see this uberly talented prodigy actually make it to the big show. That doesn't happen very often - they usually burn out or worse, they just can't find a work ethic that matches their talent. Wieber is a rare combination of both talent and drive.

She also loves Justin Bieber but that's ok. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello, London!

Well, I'm now on 34 hours of no sleep - and I haven't even started working yet. Oh, yea! This is shaping up to be a fabulous games ;)

My whole goal today was to stay awake until 7pm because I knew if I slept during the day, I would be an even bigger wreck tomorrow. I took the NBC charter last night which was a red-eye with grade A service.... only problem with that is they basically kept us up all night trying to give us food and drink. I know, I know, #firstworldproblems. But when it's 2am and all you want to do is sleep, it's pretty annoying to be offered wine.

Wait - did I just say that? What just happened here? I wonder if London makes me a prissy prude? China made me dumb so it's only fitting that London would effect me somehow. hmm... I'll be on the lookout for symptoms. Because that was pretty much the stupidest thing EVER to say - I was annoyed at being offered free wine. Holy crap, what is WRONG with me??!?


Sooo.. anyway, in order to stay awake until 7pm, I hit the streets of London to see some British stuff. The last time I wandered these streets aimlessly, I was 13 and my mom had no idea. (sorry, mom!) This time around, I'm not necessarily any wiser, but I do have a credit card.

I've been seeing the pictures of the Olympic rings hanging from the London bridge and so I decided to hit that up first because, well, because I'm a nerd. So I jump on the train. And I jump off the train at the next stop realizing that I've just gone the wrong direction. Ok. No problem. Out the door (which, in London, you have to actually press a button to make the train doors open. I figured that out after I stood there like an idiot for about 30 seconds waiting for the door to open). Back up the stairs and onto the going-the-other-way train.

The Olympic-nice-people issued us all these things called Oyster cards which gives us access to all of London's public transportation for the entirety of the games. Felt a bit like a golden ticket today!

Made my way to the London bridge

Look up and realize I'm not seeing the Olympic rings so I (obviously) think, oh, I guess the rings are underneath the bridge.

Clearly, I was not thinking clearly.

But because I'm me, I stood there for a good two minutes trying to figure out where they put the rings and how I was going to get under the bridge to see them. EVEN THOUGH I have seen this iconic picture for weeks and had ingrained it in my brain that I wanted to see it in person in London. 

I finally looked across the street and realized that the rings were on THAT bridge, not the London Bridge. Sheesh. Der. (It's too early to claim zombie induced stupidity so I have to just go with some sort of UK induced fever)

And in other "dumb things I did" news - on the plane this morning, I was trying to turn my tv off but it was dark and so I kept jabbing at buttons. Apparently, I was hitting the flight attendant call button over and over again. The very nice and very concerned attendant walked over to see if I was ok. When he leaned over to ask me something, I went to take of my headphones so I could hear him. Instead of removing my headphones, I removed my glasses. Soooo.... that didn't really work.

Anyway - after I found the bridge and the rings, I made my way over to Westminster (the underground is surprisingly easy when you're paying attention). It was getting hot and I was starting to fade so I snapped some pics and called it a day.

Don't these stairs seem to be missing the point?

Pancake truck? Yes, please!

Media. Everywhere.

This guy looks like he just smelled a fart.

Ah, yes. And the security. Hi, giant gun! I keep forgetting about the security aspect of the Games. I was washing the travel filth off of me earlier today when all of a sudden, the alarms in the hotel went off. I sort of shrugged them off at first and then about 30 seconds later, I caught myself. "Oh, RIGHT, this could be real." I checked the hallways for screaming hotel workers but didn't find anyone. The alarms shut off after about 2 minutes, so clearly it was a false alarm, but it was a sobering reminder that I should at least be careful.

And this is where Team France will go to do French stuff. Like eat cheese and then take off their shirts. And smoke. And talk about how much they hate fat people. I mean, that's france in a nutshell, no?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

get used to pink

Every event at the Olympics has it's own color - which, ok, kind of cool. I can get on board with that. But the gymnastics color is pink - which means the floors, the walls, the highlights, the lowlights, the everything in the arena is PINK. Accented by red. Because that totally makes it better.

But now add in the American girls obsession with all things pink and it's starts to look like pepto bismo and the Pink Panther got into a fight.

(from training today)

santa?? I know him!!

It used to be that the Olympic gymnasts were sequestered away in a house surrounded by barking dogs and a moat. If you wanted to know anything about them, you had to wait until NBC flipped on the cameras and broadcast a picture of them into your living room. This time around, the gymnasts are so hyped up on social media that you can basically track everything they do via twitter. What did McKayla Maroney have for lunch today? There's 5 instagram pictures that will tell you!

We're used to a constant onslaught of information about our favorite celebrities so if you're a casual fan, this might not seem all that odd. But if you're a hard-core gymnastics fan, this is an unreal change. An 'almost' unwelcome change.

Why? Well, if you were brought up on the mystique of the soviet gymnasts then you like a little side of mystery with your beam.

Back in the day, the only information you got about any of your favorite gymnasts came from the pages of International Gymnast. You were fed a diet of a black and white picture once a month and if you were lucky, a tiny snippet where they actually said something interesting. And if you were really lucky, you got a pull out poster. Ask any obsessed gymnastics fan about an IG poster and I guarantee you, their heads will slightly roll back, a small strand of drool will escape and their eyes will glaze over as they regale you with tales of taping up those coveted posters to their bedroom walls. 

But I digress. (And that'll totally never happen again. For at least one paragraph.) The point is - you used to have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks about your favorite gymnasts. (Remember imagination? that's the thing we used to do before we started liking everyone's status on facebook.) And that led to increased intrigue which led to obsession which led to, well, people like me. Crazy. Crazy obsessed with hoarding any and all information about the sport.

So the fact that this morning I was able to call up twitter and see a picture of the U.S. women's team on their way to training (wearing the cutest yellow sneakers ever) is still a bit jarring. Don't get me wrong - I love it. But I view the team very differently than any team in the past. There's no guessing this time around. I know who they are, I know who their friends are, I have an idea of their personalities and I know that McKayla Maroney could spend literally all day taking pictures of herself and never once lose that awesome smirky grin of hers.

So it's not bad. Just.... different. There used to be this feeling of really investing time and energy into getting to know these athletes and now it's all just sort of a giant chinese buffet of information. Sort of similar to how I felt when lululemon launched an online store. When I no longer had to work for it, I suddenly found it far less interesting. I mean, that's totally shallow and everything and I can't believe I just used it as an example and I also can't believe I'm not deleting it right now and omg, why do my hands keep typing this terrible sentence?!?!?!

And don't even get me started on the men and their twitter habits. They have recently been on a mass re-tweeting spree that would embarrass even a bird. Good thing their biceps offset their tweeting decorum. 

If you want to follow along with the athletes, here are their twitter handles (don't worry - it's not stalking if they're verified)

Kyla Ross - twitter.com/kyla_ross96
McKayla Maroney - twitter.com/McKaylaMaroney
Jordyn Weiber -  twitter.com/jordyn_wieber
Gabrielle Douglas - twitter.com/gabrielledoug
Aly Raisman - twitter.com/Aly_Raisman

Jake Dalton - twitter.com/jake_dalton
Danell Leyva - twitter.com/DanellJLeyva
John Orozco - twitter.com/JohnW_Orozco
John Horton - twitter.com/J_Horton11
Sam Mikulak - twitter.com/SamuelMikulak

I leave for London in about 8 hours and I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

33 US Athletes To Watch

This is me cheating a bit but here - read this. You'll be smarter for it.

33 Team USA Athletes to Watch

Sunday, July 15, 2012

chipmunk done lost his mind

I have a frequent visitor to my patio. It's a slightly deranged chipmunk that comes to hang out all the time.

No, seriously. All. The. Time.

I don't know if he's just hear to hang out with the gnomes or if my patio is somehow his safehouse for his stash of chipmunk crack OR - if he comes for the spicy pistachios I chuck out at him every once in awhile. Might be the nuts....  hmm..... anyway, all day long, that little 'munk will scamper along my door rail, climb my screen door, circle my gnomes, veg out, read 50 Shades of Grey (chipmunks have needs too).

But yesterday, my little "special" friend was being extra special. Observe.


(this is a 40 second clip of something that went on for an HOUR)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

10 days...

It doesn't feel like Vancouver was just yesterday but it certainly doesn't feel like I should be leaving for London in ten days, either.

I can't believe I'm getting back on the horse.

If you had told me in Vancouver that I would be in London, I would have laughed in your face and called you names not commonly found in children's bedtime stories. Because Vancouver was just So. Hard. It was hard. It was sad, it was emotional, it was beyond exhausting. And most of all, it wasn't all that fun. And this is the Olympics! My dream job! The thing that I would sit glued to for hours every four years as a kid and picture myself at (specifically, as a russian figure skater wearing a blue dress with flowers up and down one sleeve à la katia gordeeva's long program dress in '88... )

So for the Olympics to not be fun was not only a bummer but sort of like someone had stolen Christmas. And I was not having a pleasant Cindy-Lou Who reaction where I was ready to go sing around a barren light pole and totally be cool with that.

But that was my initial reaction...

And then months started to go by. And I started remembering the quiet runs I would take in the morning where I would run past the Olympic rings on a barge. And I would remember the Canadians proudly walking down the streets draped in their countries flags. And I would remember the deafening buzz of adrenaline that would happen everyday.

But mostly I thought about how I still just love the Olympics. Giant, nerd-sized love for the games. How that ONE moment is all that matters. How these people have trained their whole lives for that one shot to be and do their personal best.

And oh man... thinking about that. Well, goosebumps time. And I can't let that go. Not yet.

So it's back on the horse but I have a feeling this time it's going to be different. I don't know if it's because I feel like I'M different or if it's because I just feel like IT will be different but, either way, I just have a good feeling. Or maybe I just have a lot of feelings in general. I think they have a pill for that.

Right now, however, the only pill I want is in the shape of 5 round rings. Interlocking, representing every countries flags. So poetic, it's almost gross.

So excuse me while I lose myself in a love affair with the games for the next month.

Salut, Jimmy!