I give less than two sh*ts about most professional sports. I hate football. I fell asleep in the stands at a Pirates game once during college. I played basketball in Jr. High and I sucked so bad that the coach usually just sent me to the end of the bench, handed me some towels, and told me to give pep talks to the first string girls when they came in for a water break.
But I LOVE the Olympics. I don't think that one even needs to care about sports at all to be able to appreciate true athletes who are at the peak of their physical shape, have trained practically 24/7 for their entire lives, and get ONE CHANCE - sometimes only a few seconds long - to prove to the world, their country, and themselves that they are truly the best of the best. CHILLS!
I'm especially interested in watching the Equestrian Events, most especially to see Reed Kessler compete in Jumping. She just turned 18, and is the youngest equestrian to ever qualify to compete at the Olympic games. How awesome is that!
Here is Reed competing on her Belgian Warmblood mare, Cylana. I can't wait to cheer her on - I just wish I could be there in London!
Image from theequestriannews.com.
So cool :)
The equestrian events are thrilling for me to watch because I rode horses for years when I was a tween/teen, and even competed in little local shows in the Short Stirrup Hunter/Jumper and Equitation classes. I wasn't able to keep it up once I started working part-time in high school, went to college, etc. (plus, it ain't a cheap hobby by any stretch of the imagination), but I miss being around horses and riding all the time and would love to get back into it. Maybe watching this year's Olympics will be the thing that finally pushes me to make the time to start taking lessons again!
Here I am, grinning like an idiot, accepting my Reserve Champion ribbon at a local horse show in 1994. I rode a school horse named Cash, an old chestnut gelding who always took very good care of me.
The Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics begins at 7:30pm EDT tonight. The Equestrian events start tomorrow, July 28th at 10am EDT with the Independent Dressage competition. The full schedule can be found on www.nbcolympics.com.