I have been watching the Olympics forever. Summer, Winter, doesn’t matter. I LOVE the Olympics. I love the spirit of the games and the drive of the athletes. The highs and the lows. The passion and the competition. I love the theme music the NBC has for the introductions and breaks. I love the medals ceremonies. I love the travel of the torch. I love it all.
I remember great Olympic moments like they happened to me. Mary Lou Retton, the first Dream Team, Usian Bolt, Michael Phelps, Keri Strug (OH MY GOODNESS!), and on and on…
So when I first heard that the winter Olympics would be in Russia and literally 5 miles from Georgia, I was super excited. I even mentally made plans to try to go.
Well, going ended up being, let’s just say, financially untenable. But there’s always television, right!?! And with Georgia being right next door, I was sure the Olympic spirit will spill over to us.
For Opening Ceremonies, I luckily found myself in a restaurant that had a projection screen television. Didn’t help the meal and conversation, but perfect for the Opening Ceremonies. I was cheating by cutting an eye to the screen during lulls in the conversation, when I noticed a running banner on the bottom of the newscast saying ‘The Opening Ceremony is in Progress…’ Wait, that meant that we were missing the greatest event of this winter!!!
I asked the waitress if we could watch the Olympics and she said (swear to God) “It’s on right now”, and pointed to the screen. I looked again at the screen to make sure I wasn’t going to say something stupid. I made sure that yes, the two people talking on the television were indeed news anchors and that they were indeed NOT at or covering or talking about the Opening Ceremonies. I told her, “I don’t think so” and she again reaffirmed to me, Yes, yes. They are!”
And I always have to take a deep breath when I find myself in these situations. More often than not, even though you find a Georgian who knows English, they tend to have… holes in their comprehension. Maybe its just a ‘lost in translation’ moment that will always be there, but it always, always takes me by surprise.
I pointed to the television again and said, “No, No. Look. This. Is. Not. Olympics.” And now in hindsight, I should have been wary when I asked the first question of turning it to the Olympics, and she gave me a hesitant look of confusion. I mean, really, who doesn’t know the Olympics. I should been able to draw circles in the air and she understand.
She said that she would see what she could do, which ended up being nothing. The old server trick of “Oh I’m sorry sir, the fans can not be turned off” or “I’m sorry sir, we JUST ran out of breadsticks.” …I digress.
We ended up NOT watching the Opening Ceremonies.
On the walk home we were passing a German Pub and out of the corner of my eye I saw fireworks. Olympic Fireworks!!! They were so beautiful as I pressed my face up against the window like a kid looking at a coveted toy for Christmas. But alas they were over.
These days afterschool since the weather is unbearably cold to be outside, I mostly read and watch downloaded movies. Perfect time for watching a gluttonous amount of Olympics. So Monday, I ran home, changed clothes and came downstairs to watch the first events. I didn’t even care that I was not going to be able to understand a single word of the announcers. The athletes and the competition speak for themselves! The television was on news. Okay.
Natia tutors in the common room for hours in the late afternoon, so I waited until after then to watch. That’s when the good events come on anyway. Still no Olympics. Turkish Soap Operas. What is going on I didn’t understand. Tuesday, same thing. Maybe they didn’t know- false. They turned the station, I guess to see what else was on, and like magic, Downhill Skiing was on the clearest color channel they have!!! Yes!!! I turned off my movie on the computer, turned my chair to the television to show I was REALLY into this. They turned it anyways.
I don’t understand.
The other day, I got to watch a little bit of the Mixed Pairs Ice Skating. It was beautiful. After two routines, they turned it to another channel.
I don’t understand. It’s the Olympics.
Oh well…. You win some, you lose some.