Tuesday, August 10, 2004
:: ALL EYES ON ATHENS ::
I've always been a crazy Olympics fan for as long as I can remember. This passion probably started when I first watched the life story of the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci who competed in the 70's Olympics and won numerous gold medals. I was probably six or seven at that time. The appreciation for the graceful sports of gymanastics were probably attributed to my ballet training then (ah! weird!). It's great influence even made me ask my mom to enroll me in a Gymnastics class rather in a Ballet School. I also remember that I even have a ballet classmate who do ballet in the mornings and gymnastics in the afternoons once a week (Mitz, Ces, remember? The Thai Girl?) . My young self was simply in awe. My request had fallen on deaf ears since my mom believed that Gymnastics would create uglier muscles than Ballet. Duh?
Anyway, to somehow console my little self from the frustration, I watched to my heart's desire the Gymnastics games at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. And since then I was hooked. I fondly remembered watching the LA Games after school and even had replays when dad recorded it in our old Betamax player. There were more memories of the symbolic tiger (the mascot) in Seoul, South Korea in 1988 where the Philippines fought tremendously but failed to bring home the coveted Gold. I even cheered for Bea Lucero and her non-show-up in Gymnastics (she later represented the Philippines in later Olympics for Tae Kwon Do).
The Barcelona and Atlanta Games of the 1990's failed to capture my 100% attention (much to my dismay) since I've became a very busy then. I just recalled the very very long Opening Ceremonies in Spain in 1992 and the outpour of Coca-Cola products in Atlanta, Georgia in '98. The last Olympics in Sydney brought however new interest and access to information because of the Internet. I was ecstatic and delirious. One of our classmates from highschool even scored a part-time job in Sydney at the Olympic Village during the Games. She made kwento of the great games and competition that she was able to watch because of her privileged pass. I was simply envious.
My self-declared hiatus couldn't come a better time. Come Friday, August 13, 2004, all roads lead to Athens as the Olympics goes back to its original roots to the ancient ruins of Greece. Another celebration of life and sports would unfold as we commemorate the homecoming of the Games 108 years after. And I will be on the best seat: in front of our TV. I am really excited that I would be able to watch the Games and the drama behind it in full liberty. It will definitely be a wonderful moment for me. I just hope that we will finally score a Gold this time. *cross fingers* Our taekwondo jins and boxers are expected to make waves and will try their very best to play to their honor the Philippine National Anthem that we are deprived from hearing from any Olympics. After all, the prize at stake for the elusive gold is already P8 million pesos coming from the Philippine Gov't and numerous privately-owned companies. As the cliche goes...GO FOR GOLD, Team Philippines!
More news at the Athens 2004 site.
Oh! Another tid-bit. My friend who's in Beijing right now told me that the Chinese Governement will definitely go all out for the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing. (Their bid for supremacy?) As early as now, they are "controlling the weather" so that they will have perfect sunny skies come 2008! The 2012 Olympics venue is still on bid between New York, Moscow, Madrid, London and Paris.