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Tuesday 10: Get Ready For The Olympics

Posted Jul 03 2012 5:32pm
Jul 3, 2012 Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 in Blog | 13 comments

The Olympics are coming! And as I confessed on Twitter a few days ago, I can’t wear makeup while I watch because everything about the Olympics makes me cry. What I couldn’t share in 140 characters is that back in 1996, we were living in Sausalito, California, and the Olympic torch came through on its way to Atlanta. We joined in the celebration parade that barreled through town, and I got to hold the torch for a second. I don’t know why it felt like such a big deal, but man! my breath caught in my throat and I, of course, got tears in my eyes. It was such a moment!

Here is a brief list of the things that I know will bring on the waterworks when I watch the Olympics this year:
a huge triumph
a crushing defeat
any country’s national anthem (ANY country)
a heartwarming human interest story
a parent cheering
a coach looking proud
an athlete looking terrified (or proud or bold or happy or humbled)
the fireworks at the opening ceremonies

It all works on me. All of it. And I love it.

The Olympics is like a 17-day holiday around our house. We watch every bit of coverage we can, hang on every word said by Bob Costas, read all the news coverage online, and drop the athletes names into conversation like they’re our besties.  I should also mention that in addition to crying, I have been known to gasp painfully loudly, to scream at the judges, to shout “Holy shit!” repeatedly while watching gymnastics or diving, and to squeeze Dave’s hand very tightly while waiting to see the outcome of a particular feat of derring-do.

Friends, THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING! (Specifically, they’re coming July 27 through August 12.)

To get you in the spirit, too, here are 10 things that can surely help you get excited about the Olympics.

1. The Big Picture — Olympics 2012: Carrying The Flame
Twenty-nine amazing photos from the torch relay. On its way to London through the United Kingdom, the torch will be carried by 8000 athletes over the course of 70 days and 8000 miles in Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Here are two of my favorite pics from this collection, but really, you need to see them all.

Greek actress Ino Menegaki (right) playing the role of High Priestess, lights the Olympic flame during the torch lighting ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the site of ancient Olympia in Greece on May 10. (John Kolesidis/Reuters)

Joanne Gregory carries the Olympic torch on a hand drawn canal boat across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on May 30 in Llangollen, Wales. The Olympic flame is now on day 12 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


2. Torch Relay Video
Read all about the specifics of the Olympic torch journey, then watch live video feed of it making its way across the UK. There’s also an archive so you can see the legs of the relay you missed, and a big ol’ interactive map of the relay route. The Torch is made of aluminium alloy and is perforated by 8,000 circles which represent the “inspirational stories of the 8000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame.” Finally, here’s the list of all the Torchbearers, along with their ages, their hometowns, and where they’ll take the torch.

3. The Week: 10 U.S. Athletes To Watch
The Week is one of my favorite magazines because it presents to many perspectives on the big news stories I feel like I should understand. This photo gallery highlights 10 badass American athletes. As a 44-year-old woman, I cannot get enough of Dara Torres (45 years old, 12 medals, hoping for her sixth Olympics).

4. The Official London 2012 Site
So much stuff! You can totally lose an entire afternoon on this site (not that I’m speaking from personal experience.) Don’t miss the photo galleries.

5. NBC Official London 2012 Site
Again, tons of content! Cool stuff to check out: a directory of all the athletes that you sort by sport, nation, and gender, an in-depth look at the medals, and widgets you can add to your site or Facebook page.

6. NBC Olympics Alerts
Sign up to get alerts sent to your email. Choose from a giant list of topics including general Olympics news, medal alerts, video highlight of the day, photo of the day, news about specific athletes, and more. You can also sign up for a bunch of RSS feeds that cover a wide range of similar topics.

7. Coverage of Every Event
Holy crap, you guys! NBC is providing live coverage of all 32 sports and 302 events. That’s more than 3000 hours of live, streaming coverage. THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING! You can watch online, on your tablet, or on your mobile phone — go here for the details on how to sign up. (Sadly, you have to have some kind of cable, satellite, or telco provider to watch online. I am tempted to get cable just to watch the Olympics…)

8. The Telegraph Sports Guides
Nothing makes Dave and I yell at the TV quite as loudly as when the announcers don’t explain the ins-and-outs of scoring or why something that they’re making seem like a really big deal is a really big deal. We are not experts on, say, archery or the intricacies of judging a dive. That’s where The Telegraph’s Sports Guides come in handy! Pick a sport from their complete list, then click through to articles that cover “How to play,” “Tactics and techniques,” “Facts and phrases,” and “Prospects and schedule.” That last section is geared toward the prospects for athletes from Great Britain, but it also helpfully includes who to watch from other country’s.

9. The Official Olympics Trailer

10. Breaking Muscle: Holley Mangold’s Training Journal
Amidst all the hoopla and pageantry and superstar athletes, it can be easy to forget that Olympians are real people, which all the same challenges and concerns the rest of us mortals content with every day. That’s why I love Holley’s training journal — it’s a reminder that yes, she could crush all of us with the amazing strength, but she’s also a girl making her way through life with as much grace and fortitude as she can muster.

Bonus! Turn it up to 11!

Thanks to reader/commenter Audrey for directing us to this: 30 Greatest NBC Olympic Moments. It’s 30 video clips of Olympics badassery, and then you get to vote for your top 3. What’s more fun than that?! THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING!

  1. Holly says:

    Oh I am SOOOOO geeked for this! I can’t even tell you.

    Oh wait. I just did.


  2. noblepower says:

    regarding gasping, screaming & the like: I’ve been known to frighten my poor dog during the last 3K of every stage of le Tour de France. This is her first Olympics, and I’m afraid she’s going to remember this as “the summer mom kept yelling at the tv”

  3. Roberta says:

    I don’t think Dara made it (calling her by her first name like she’s my bestie), but she’s still a total bad ass!

  4. linds says:

    Aaaaaah! I love love love it! And I know all about the crying….if anyone is happy or sad, I’m right there with them. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who puts my life on hold to embrace every moment. But first….the Crossfit Games!

  5. Audrey says:

    I’m an Olymipic junkie as well. I cry. I scream. I get jittery with nerves. Please do yourself a favor and watch the clips here:
    try not to cry watching Strug; I dare you.

  6. Kimberly says:

    I so totally get everything you’re talking about. I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics since I was a little girl watching Mary Lou Retton. I went to the 2002 games in Salt Lake and saw the men’s snowboarding half pipe. AMAZING! It was beyond words. I can’t wait until they start in London. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. BTW, Thank you for WELL FED! It’s helping me on my Whole30 journey. : ) Check out my new blog at .

  7. Jill says:

    My friend’s husband, Sam Hazewinkel, is on the USA wrestling team! I’m so excited for them!

  8. Graham says:

    I’m in the UK and just had to share with you the fact that I saw the Olympic torch in it’s tour of the UK. The atmosphere was amazing and really hope it will be a great games!!

  9. Shannon says:

    Please, please tell me you are going to watch and cheer for Oly lifter Holly Mangold! She’s from my smallish Ohio town and has taught lifting clinics at the CF box where I work out. She. Is. Awesome. Watch her interview with Bryan Gumbel and I dare you not to cry. She talks about chasing that feeling from a perfect lift where the bar becomes weightless–have the tissues ready.

  10. RBL says:

    I am an Olympicholic! I’m not someone who watches sports all the time… But when the Olympics are on, I am all about sports. I love seeing sports I don’t know much about. Who am I kidding? I love it all!

  11. De23 says:

    I love the Olympics too! In the past I’ve had rather complex viewing schedules that involved juggling 4-hour blocks of recordings on my TiVo. Luckily we have a new system with a lot more recording space, especially since they hit right when I’m starting my new job! I’m hoping I get to watch.

    We like to watch Table Tennis – my husband is a player and has played in some national tournaments.

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