Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Favorite Olympic Winter Games

Some people might say it's cheesy, but I really do love the Olympics. Especially the Winter Games, which shouldn't be a surprise because I'm from Canada. I don't watch all the events - who has that kind of time? - but I like watching most of them, even the ones that we mock. Yes, the figure skating events are probably fixed, but I love watching anyway. Skeleton and Luge seem like sledding gone suicidal, but we watched. I feel like I could take the slopestyle and half-pipe events more seriously if the athletes wore real athletic gear instead of droopy pants, but I admit they are interesting. Naturally my favorite event is hockey! And yes, I like curling and speed skating too!
Olympic Winter Games 1988
Every Winter Games offers something special and memorable, but the 1988 Olympic Winter Games remains my all-time favorite. Because we were there! The 1988 Games were held in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta; and my hubby and I still lived there at the time. We had been married less than a year, and I remember planning and ordering event tickets at least a year in advance.  We were able to snag tickets to several of the hockey games, and it turned out that we had tickets to see Canada play twice! Of course, at that time the NHL did not send their players to the Olympics, so the level of play was a little different and the Canadian team generally had greatly reduced chances to win against the European teams.
Olympic Winter Games

Olympic winter games
Another thing that made the Calgary games special was that I was a part of the Opening Ceremonies. A very small part, granted; but I was there! At the time I sang in a choir associated with one of the colleges in Calgary, and in advance of the Games a mass choir was assembled for the Opening Ceremonies and the Arts Festival that accompanies the Games. Our choir also recorded the Olympic anthem and Canadian anthem in advance.

For the Opening Ceremonies, the choir members were dressed in these druid-like robes in the colors of the five Olympic rings. It was by chance which color robe each choir member received, and mine was black. I was quite disgusted. LOL I always figured any of the other colors I might have got more use out of the robe, perhaps as a Magi costume at Christmas or something, but honestly, we've made pretty good use of my black robe over the years anyway. It's been a Jedi robe, and a wizard's robe, and I always thought it would work well for a Ghost of Christmas Future costume too. Also, it is very warm, and I used to wear it football games when we lived in Calgary! But I digress... In the picture below, the choir is the mass of colors just below the Olympic rings. When we first entered the stadium, we had to stand in formation there to start with, but then we moved up onto the stands in the formation of the rings.
Olympic Winter Games 1988
I don't remember exactly where I stood, but I think it was somewhere in the general vicinity of where the arrow is pointing.
Olympic Winter Games 1988
It was COLD the day of the Opening Ceremonies! And when I say "cold" I mean something like 30 below. Brutally cold. But we were toasty inside those floor length wool druid robes. LOL And by the way, later in the day, one of the more dramatic chinooks I remember blew into Calgary, and we could literally stand out on the balcony of our apartment and watch the snow melt. The very next day we had tickets to a hockey game and we went in t-shirts with only light jackets. My hubby and I always said that we could have made our fortune and retired if we'd thought to make up t-shirts to sell that said "I wore shorts at the Winter Olympics in Calgary" I suppose the same could be said of Sochi as well, as I understand the temperatures are very mild.

I don't wear it any more (I was a couple sizes smaller in 1988) but this sweater was one of the souvenirs I had commemorating my participating in the Opening Ceremonies. I still have my backstage pass somewhere too. And of course that lovely robe. LOL
Olympic Winter Games
Have you ever been able to attend an Olympic sporting event? Leave a comment and let me know! This post is linked up at Circling Through This Life for the 52 Favorite Anything series.
Circling Through This Life
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Meg Falciani said...

That is incredible!! I've never been to the Olympics, although I did stand out in our neighborhood to watch the Atlanta '96 torch run through Philadelphia. That was pretty cool.

Stacie said...

That is an incredible memory. Very neat to have been a part of the Open Ceremony and a chance to go and see the events. I like the Winter Olympics more then the Summer. I have watched almost every day. My favorite was the snow boarding and the figure skating. I would love to someday be able to go to the Olympics and just watch a few of my favorite events.

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