Saturday, August 4, 2012

High Flying Birds

And so concludes my favorite week of the Olympics...though I do enjoy the sprints of Track & Field events, the real joy for me is the gymnastics and swimming. I'm one of those people who truly looks forward to the Olympics, both summer and winter. But I must confess that during the winter, I'm often wishing it were summer Olympics instead, because let's face it, while figure skating is amazing, it doesn't quite produce the absolute awe inspiring feats of gymnastics.

My obsession with the Olympics hasn't always existed. In fact, during the '96 games in Atlanta, I was so tuned out that I didn't find out about the bombing until two days after when a friend told me, and subsequently couldn't believe that I didn't know about the one thing the entire world was talking about. (In my defense, I didn't have a TV at the time and the internet didn't really exist.) It wasn't until 2004 until I become a fan and a big part was due to the Romanian woman's gymnastic team, specifically the way they handled the balance beam as if it were three feet wide instead of four inches. They won gold in the 2004 games and have been my team ever since.

I was working on my book Dirty Liar at the time, and it influenced the decision to make the one main character a gymnast. I was so fascinated with the way these athletes, both men and women, sacrifice everything in their lives for this dream. This time around, I had been working on a chapter book manuscript and gymnastics once again crept in...particularly the beam. Writers truly pull from whatever is closets to them at any moment.

Congratulations to the Romanian team for taking bronze at this year's game. Hope for more medals in the individual events tomorrow. 

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