“Everything slowed down. Everything became quiet...That's why I labeled it the perfect race.”
--Apollo Ohno, speaking of his gold medal 500m skate in Torrino
I still remember watching my first Olympics. It was the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. The Olympic bug bit me hard!
Rather than watching the Olympics thinking that I'm not there with a medal around my neck, I remember the exhilaration that is racing and how it has touched my life. No judges. No style points. Just you, your competitors, and a clock.
When I watch Apollo Ohno, Lindsey Vonn, and so many others, I can still feel the adrenaline at the starting line, the thrill of the chase, the wind in my hair. This magic never, never dies. For those of us who have been blessed to experience the joy of racing, we know the primal instincts that take over. We know what Michael Jordan means when he talks about “being in the zone.”
Running is racing and racing is running.
Call me a “running nerd,” but all of that flashes through my brain and lingers in the memory of my cells when I watch the Olympic Super G or Short Track Speed Skating. Like I said, that magic never, never dies. Once you've tasted it, you never forget. Perhaps the fact that the Olympics is as primitive and ancient as racing or running itself brings out the joie de vivre even more. One thing I can say for sure is that watching the Olympics for me is the only time that sitting on the couch is exhilarating!