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Olympic Junkie

Posted by Gale Bernhardt on Jul 17, 2008 4:54:29 PM

I have to admit, I'm an Olympic junkie. I've been a big fan of the Olympic Games, summer and winter, since I was a kid. I would be glued to the television every night watching a recap of what was likely the previous day's events.


Several years ago, I invested in a set of books "[The Olympic Century|]". I don't make many impulse purchases; but, I'll admit this was an impulse purchase. At the time, the books were not printed and they were taking pre-orders. The cost for the set was in the $350 neighborhood. I sent my money, then waited.


After more than a year, I began to believe the money spent on books was down the drain because I hadn't seen a single book. Right as I was delivering the second kick to my own behind for being a fool, books began showing up on my doorstep. I now have all but Volume 2. From the site, "Volume 2 has not been printed yet due to copyright litigation with the National Olympic Committee of France. When ready it will be shipped directly by the publisher at no charge to you."



I'm still hoping for that Volume 2.



With just 21 days to go until opening ceremonies, this Olympic Games is sure to be another good one for the history books. Around the world, we will know about what is going on at the Olympics faster than any previous Games due to the internet and cable television.



Each day of the Games, you can read about results in many, many places. While I'll highlight the results of some of my favorite events, I'll also give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Games.



The first tidbit I'll share is that each person traveling as a member of the United States Olympic Team in 2004 was required to sign a "Code of Conduct". I suspect there is a similar document for Beijing.



I'll cover some of the items in the document throughout the next few weeks. The first item:





  • As a Member of the Team, I hereby promise and agree that I will not act as a journalist, media liaison or in any other media capacity during the Games period.


This is why you won't see individual websites documenting the current Games journey and process. The 2004 document had 23 bullet items on it and breaking the Code of Conduct could mean immediate dismissal from the team.







Today, I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos I took at the 2004 Games. It is a shot of the medals ceremony for the 200-meter men's event. I attended an evening of track and field events after the triathlon race was over. It was a full stadium, with the torch in the background and the Star-Spangled Banner playing during the medal ceremony. With three USA athletes on the podium, I couldn't stop the tears from streaming. In that moment what struck me was the number of years it took for those athletes to get to that one Olympic race and on the podium. I also thought about the number of people it takes to make the Olympic Games what it is now. (Clicking on the photo makes it larger for better viewing.)





Mind boggling...






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