Monday, February 15, 2010

The Olympics and more

I have a confession. I love the Olympics. I always have.

Among my most enduring sport memories will be watching Team USA win the gold in basketball at the Georgia Dome and hearing the National Anthem played during the medal ceremony. Watching Muhamed Ali get his gold medal back, regardless of the circumstances surrounding him not having it, was just icing on the cake.

I know Jimmy Crackedcorndawg has some awesome Atlanta Olympic stories, as well. He and I hatched an idea in 1984 during the LA Olympics to have the Summer games in Atlanta. Who knows if Billy Payne somehow overheard a couple of young teens at Six Flags and thought "why not?"

On top of that, Central Illinois is gripped in Olympics mania. Bonnie Blair, the five time Olympic champion, is from Champaign. Furthermore, Katherine Reutter and Jonathan Kuck are both from Champaign and are skaters competing in Vancouver. Kuck is a sophomore at the University of Illinois, and he and Reutter were high school classmates at Champaign Centennial.

Ruetter will compete in the finals of the 500 short track skate on Tuesday.

So, this is more than just a diversion until pitchers and catchers reporting to me. This is more than something more interesting than Lost to talk about until Spring football. This matters to me. It is about bragging rights. Beating the Ruskies (or everyone else, now that the Ruskies are really the Russians, the Ukranians, the Kazakhs, the Estonians, the Belarusians, the Georgians, the Tajiks, the Moldovians, and Tech fans). I want to see great sports, athletes at the top of their game.

If those athletes wear red, white and blue, all the better.

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