Generally, I let the Olympics go by without paying too much attention. Televised sporting events are a good opportunity for me to get some needlework done. I will watch the Super Bowl or Packer games to be sociable (and will cheer and holler at the television at the appropriate times), but never think to turn on a game or event if I am home alone.
But this year, this year, we actually knew an Olympic athlete. We have known her since her family moved to the Northwoods. Our families homeschooled together, worshipped together and fellowshipped together. Jon was baptized in ‘their’ lake. Jon and Jinelle’s brother double-dated for prom. Jinelle’s mom and I worked at the food pantry together.
Knowing an actual Olympian gave the games a whole new meaning. We watched every one of the USA women’s hockey games. We watched the opening ceremony, seeing her first when the USA entered the arena and later during a shot when the IOC president was speaking. We know her!
We screamed and hollered and jumped up off Mom and Dad’s couch (we don’t have satellite tv and for some reason these very important games were not televised on network tv).
We even got our neighbors caught up in USA women’s hockey fever. I sent them the link for Jinelle’s blog . And during Sunday school on Sunday the husband leaned over and whispered – ‘We watched your little girl play hockey.’ I smiled. Jinelle is six feet tall.
They handily won their first three games. The gold medal game was against Canada. Big rivalry. BIG rivalry.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an exciting game, but in the end the USA women lost.
Lost the game, but won the silver medal.
And our admiration.
(Especially since they didn’t celebrate their medal by smoking cigars and drinking champagne like a certain team from the north which shall remain nameless. )