[Boomer] tumbled. He tangled. He toppled. He flew . . .
right through the ceremonial flame.
He got the lowest score in [Summer] Olympic history.
Mr. Hamstring croaked, “Any final words for our viewers at home?”
“Well, Hammy, maybe I didn’t win a gold medal today,” said Boomer, “but I realized something very important. I realized. . .today has been terrific practice for the Winter Olympics!”
Olympig! The Triumphant Story of an Underdog
written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012
I’ve never been much about sports. (See a few previous posts, if you want: Football Memories 2/8/16, Heart of a Champion 8/2/16 and Cleveland, Ohio 7/19/16.) The High School Band was always a bigger draw for me than the game. Of course, my girls were in the band and I didn’t have any children on the football team, or any other team, for that matter. My younger daughter had a brief time on a soccer team, but that’s a different story.
This week is a sports trifecta, though.
Last Monday, a Major League Baseball statement announced that Chief Wahoo, mascot of the Cleveland Indians, will be retired after the 2018 season. The team has been moving away from the Chief by replacing his image with a block-style “C” on road caps (2011) and batting helmets (2013). Cleveland is stepping up to the plate and doing the right and sensitive thing.
The Super Bowl will start just hours from now. Football always feels like a violent sport. So much smashing and falling and piling on each other. I have a good book, (The Wonderling, by Mira Birtok, Candlewick Press, 2017). It’s about discovering one’s destiny and finding one’s place in the world. I’ll read while my husband watches the game.
I *do* have a football connection. I worked at the Wilson football factory in Ada, Ohio during my ex-husband’s last year at Ohio Northern University. My brother sent me a link to a great story about the factory. Here it is: http://www.wkyc.com/article/sports/nfl/superbowl/did-you-know-super-bowl-footballs-are-made-in-a-small-ohio-town/95-513292475 (See also the reference above to Football Memories.)
More than 100 million people will be tuned in this year. I’ll probably look up for the commercials, although I haven’t heard any hype about them this year. Thirty-second ads will cost companies $5 million dollars, ten times the price of a 30-second ad during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. That’s a lot of Pepsi! or Coke! or beer!
All eyes will turn to PyeongChang, South Korea on Friday as the Winter Olympics Games begin. The big news for me is that North and South Korea will have a joint Women’s Field Hockey team. I’m not sure how that will impact world peace or nuclear de-escalation or the Games.
Five is symbolic. The five continents are united by athletic competitions. The five rings are made of colors found in flags of all participating nations. Races, nations, religions, genders and cultures. are connected in their passion for sports.
So while the world's focus turns to sports of all kinds, I’ll go about my days doing what I do: volunteering at a local diaper bank, making an eye-doctor appointment and staying in touch with friends and family.