Gold, Silver, Bronze

I didn’t grow up watching sports. We didn’t follow any teams and even though my parents were avid tennis players, we never watched tennis either. None of my sisters nor I did any sports except what little we were required to do in phy ed.

So it was a surprise to me when I first watched some Olympic coverage in college that I enjoyed it. Not enough to follow sports throughout the years, but more than enough to spend the two weeks of the Olympics in front of the television.  Sports that I would NEVER watch any other time seem interesting during the Olympics (think bob sled, pole vaulting, skiing, swimming).

As a young married in Milwaukee, in a teeny apartment, wasband and I were excited to watch the 1980 Winter Olympics but we had a teen little black & white television. To celebrate the Olympics we splurged with a Rent-a-Center color console for two weeks.  It took up most of the living room, but we really enjoyed it and watched the Olympic coverage constantly.  After the Olympics, back the tv went.

These days I actually watch a couple of channels at a time. Men’s team ice skating on one channel and downhill skiing and luge on another; I switch back and forth at the commercials or whenever the commentators get verbose. I don’t really have a big preference for either summer or winter Olympics.  I have favorite sports in each, but nothing that tips the balance for me one way or the other.

What gets a gold medal in your world this week?

55 thoughts on “Gold, Silver, Bronze”

  1. Oh my. That TV brings back memories! I don’t think we will watch the Olympics this weekend. The Gold medal in my world this week goes to our son. He turns 32 today. He is a good son and husband, and he will be a good dad come April.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, if we’re going to give out gold medals to those who have a birthday today, how about me?

      And…drumroll, please…I used the 7 Minute Workout app on my phone today and did the workout – third time this week. After so many weeks of doing almost nothing, 7 minutes of jumping jacks, crunches, wall sits, planks, lunges, etc. are all I can handle. My motivation? I took my measurements this week and realized that my waist measurement was firmly in the “unhealthy” category. Time to work on that.

      I’m not planning to do any Olympic watching in the upcoming days (although if anyone else is watching, I suppose I might look at it for a few minutes). I’m taking a 3-week class and there’s homework that requires thinking (I’m a slow thinker). Plus I need to prepare some of my work and deliver it to the very first shop that has agreed to take a few things on consignment.

      All this tooting my own horn is quite out of character. I’ll be back to normal by tomorrow.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. I haven’t figured out where to watch the Olympics yet, or even if I will, which is unusual for me.

    I have never been an athlete, and I am really sad that the emphasis placed on skill in sports in my high school years kept me from doing things that would have probably led me to better fitness.

    So it’s a shock to find myself the parent of a serious athlete, but that has also given me a new appreciation for his sport.

    We’ve watched enough distance running together (with his running commentary), that last summer I found myself gripped with suspense, LISTENING to Mo Farrah’s​ world championship 10k (on a track for Pete’s sake) race, because watching it was impossible without a paid subscription.

    My boy is racing in South Dakota this weekend, so I’m not seeing it, just watching the live stats.

    For those of you who know (and care about) the numbers, he ran an 8:23.07 3K.

    Tonight he runs the mile. His current PR is 4:13.67. We’ll see if he can improve on that.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Like you, MiG, it is very strange to be the mother of a jock. My mother is quite athletic for her 85 years and was a gym teacher earlier in life. She feels vindicated that she finally has an athletic grandchild.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To answer the question, my greatest pleasure in watching the Olympics is the element of surprise. I know next to nothing about the best athletes, so each day brings fresh stories about young folks I haven’t heard of but whose passion and skill thrill me. I’ll always cherish the moment a tiny girl named Kerri Strug reached down to find the courage to stick a landing on a painfully damaged foot in the 1996 summer Olympics.


        1. He left you in the dust, so to speak. I’m having a hard time reconciling the image I have in my mind’s eye, of the quiet kid with his nose in a book, with the young man who is now such a fierce competitor. Well done, s&h.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. He is pretty clear on his pup status. There is a senior on his team who is a several times All-American for him to chase, and they go to some bigger meets where he is more than challenged.

          And he will tell you “I’m only running DIII”.

          I know you will appreciate what I am saying when I say he has the true German-American Lutheran sense of humility 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Hmm, that was supposed to go under North Shorer’s comment.
          PJ, the same quiet focus he has a a reader is exactly why he is a good distance runner. focus, focus, focus

          Liked by 2 people

      1. He is pretty clear on his pup status. There is a senior on his team who is a several times All-American for him to chase, and they go to some bigger meets where he is more than challenged.

        And he will tell you “I’m only running DIII”.

        I know you will appreciate what I am saying when I say he has the true German-American Lutheran sense of humility 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. i am a luge guy
    i like almost all winter stuff
    bobsled, speed skating, figure skating hockey
    curling, especially snowboarding and downhill skiing
    i am watching ski jumping as we blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ve seen everything you mentioned today. Except figure skating. I think luge is fascinating – and terrifying. Curling… meh.


      1. my son was watching Lucy with me this morning and he said I don’t get it there’s no way they can steer those things going that fast already doing it and I pointed out to him up there steering with their ankles and then he was fascinated I told him that there’s a Minnesota lose maker that got on the political wrong side of the US team so he’s making lose bottles and Proto types for all the other countries in the world and has some winning lose models but politically is not able to do the US team any longer


  4. l like biathlon used to have a problem with the gun part of he sport so i was pleased to see the news that the top woman biathlete was so disheartened by recent shooting in las vegas that she rethought her being involved
    she is still hanging in there but has a commentary when mentoring little kids about how bad guns are
    not hypocrisy but heartfelt angst
    i like to ski and i like to shoot guns let’s create an olympic event
    makes you wonder about baboon olympics
    i like to cook and listen to music
    let’s call it a chefatune and prizes are awarded but the judges for taste and groove of the vibe

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The fact that it’s not Daylight Saving Time weekend. I mis-read something, or fawlty memory said it was “spring forward” Sunday tomorrow – it really changes on March 11, and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

    I could watch Olympic skating till the cows come home (and that’s saying a lot, as I don’t have any cows); I’ll glance at some other stuff but don’t seek anything else out. I do always try to catch the Opening Ceremonies – you learn so much about different cultures…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Minnesota gets a gold from me this week. I am home from AZ to see clients face-to-face, see the tax accountant, run a meeting, and harass the mice that live in my house while I am away. I just love living here and despite the cold, it is just so nice to be back home. Two weeks ago on Saturday morning in Phoenix, we stood outside at 8am watching my Grandson play flag 🏈 football (he threw several touchdown passes) and froze in 35degeee temperatures.

    I have not yet tuned in to the Olympics—I do love some of the events. Watching the skiers is terrifying in a thrilling kind of way. I love watching women’s anything, just to notice what women can really do. When I was a teen there were no women’s sports at all in my high school or community. Competitive babysitting and getting boyfriends seemed to be the only value given to girls at that time, and I was not that good at either one of those skills.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome back to Minnesota, Jacque. It’s a better state when you’re here.

      Book club is tomorrow; if you have the time and inclination, we’d love to see you there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you were left out of the email conversation, Jacque. OC may be harboring flu germs so the consensus was to move book club forward 2 weeks. So my information was incorrect. Bother. It would have been nice to see you.


    2. Wait, you had no women’s basketball?
      My memories of Iowa high school girls basketball are very dear to me, even though I was completely inept at playing.

      We watched the girls’ state tournament religiously (boys, not so much, that was boring). I believe they played at Vet’s in Des Moines and there were guys in tuxedos who swept the floor with those big wide brooms at halftime when the announcer said “gentlemen, start your brooms”.

      My earliest memory is that this was before schools were divided by class (size) and it was pure joy to watch girls from the tiny town of Manilla win it all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was once common for little towns to win the state girls’ basketball championship. Just as a matter of luck, now and then a little town would produce three strong players of the same age who would grow up playing with each other and eventually win it all. I think by now the organizers have killed that by dividing the teams up into leagues where town size is more equal.

        I have a clear memory of a post-game TV interview with the coach of a winning team. The coach, a round fellow without a lot of social polish, was overjoyed with his team, especially the large girl who dominated the game at center. “Didja see that Johansson?” said the coach. “Holy moly! She come down the court like a bull let out of a chute!” Let’s hope the player saw that as a compliment.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. i think they alsso changed from the 6-girl half court game to a more banal 5 person full court thing like the guys played.

          When I lived in DC, one of the summers the featured state on the Washington Mall for the 4th of July happened to be Iowa, and there was in one of the tents a demo and talk about the old-school 6-girl half court “Iowa rules” game, and one of the speakers was from one of the champion teams from Manilla. It was not dumb luck, it was a legacy team. And a lot of those girls also went home and did chores after practice.

          We see the asme thing today in men’s cross country champions. A lot of them come from outstate and the same towns are in the top ranks year after year. If you grow up in a small town that produces state champs, iot is part of your culture.

          The lilttle town I went to elementary school in had state wrestling champs, and everyone, regardless of gender, learned to wrestle in elementary PE.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. My dad refereed a lot of Iowa basketball, both boys and girls, in his 68 years as a sports official. He thought those Iowa girls could really play ball.

          Liked by 2 people

        1. Ah yes, pre-Title IX.

          For those not familiar with “Iowa rules”, here are the basics.

          Each team has 6 players on the court, 3 forwards, 3 guards. The forwards and guards have to stay on their respective half of the court. You can dribble twice and then you MUST pass the ball.

          There is none of this boring running back and forth from one end of the court to another, dribbling the whole way. It’s a passing game with lot of opportunity for interceptions. Usually lower scoring, but when well played, pretty fast paced.

          One of the main reasons Iowa gave it up was because while they had some very good players, the alternative rules made it hard for them to be recruited by colleges.

          Game night when I was growing up was Friday night, girls game followed by the boys.

          Another reason the girls game was often better than the boys was because so many of the guys were plenty tall, but not terribly coordinated.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. **Urgent BBC Message**
    Hello Baboons,
    I emailed this to the MN locals that I have contact info for, but in the interest of reaching as many as possible…

    Full disclosure, I was visiting cousins in Tulsa for a week. We got home on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning the cousin we were staying with, texted to say she was sick. Yesterday she went to the doctor and, even though she had the flu shot, she has the flu. So far, John and I are fine, but I have not been to see my mother in assisted living yet and I think the prudent thing is for me to withdraw form hosting BBC tomorrow. I’m so sorry for the late notice, but I’d be sorrier if I infected the whole troop. I will be happy to host if we want to postpone for a week or two or into March or if someone else can step in at the last minute, that’s fine as well. Whatever works. Stay well, my friends.

    Occasional Caroline


  8. The spring of my senior year in HS I had to take over all of the work on the farm, except dealing wit the milk. The day after I graduated I went to work as a summer janitor in the HS and still doing the farm. So the TV in out house was turned off about March 1, what with my mother doing her home/farm/milk work and driving to Duluth. Then I wen to the U of Chi. There was a TV room somewhere in the dorm. I am not sure where. One TV for aBOUT 140 guys. Then I moved into a fraternity, which had no TV and had strict study hours from Sun evening to Friday afternoon. We would occasionally rent a TV from Walgreens (Walgreens in Chicago are or were much more complete places.) We would rent a TV for the weekend when WGN was running one of its old horror movie weekends.
    Then I moved to Mpls. My roommate and I had no TV. When Sandy and I got married she had a small TV, B & W of course, which she brought to the apartment. in Prospect Park. By then I was out of the TV habit and was working part time and going to the U. My first year teaching in Lindstrom I was busy with extra curriculars (Asst. Football coach, assistant speech coach, play director, and newspaper advisor) as well as keeping my head above water. We also ended up being the youth director for about four churches. So again we watched little TV.
    TV for me from March 63 to about December 69 is non-existent. People of my age will reference TV shows of which I have no knowledge.
    But those weekends renting a TV in Chicago were fun.
    Answering the question: I guess my gold for the weekend is pain. I had three days of low pain, but with waves of weakness. Weakness gone, pain is back.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And if we missed you on the email that just went around this afternoon, Blevins Book Club is re-scheduled for Sunday, February 25.!


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