Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic moments

I talked briefly of flashbulb memories in this post. With the Olympics going on, and me watching as much coverage as I have time for (not a lot, but some), I'm reminded of all the Olympic flashbulb memories from recent years. I'm not a big sports fan in general, but I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics. These are the scenes I remember best.

1988 Summer Olympics: Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board. Wow. What's really amazing is that he completed his dives and won the gold medal.

1994 Winter Olympics: Tonya Harding...well, a lot of stuff, but mostly where she cried to the judges about her ice skates. This was all the more dramatic to my 12-year-old self because she is from Portland and I had actually seen her skate in person at her training rink. Oh, the drama - you've got to love the exaggerated makeup, histrionics, and hideous costume.

1996 Summer Olympics: Keri Strug's gold-medal vault on a broken (or whatever) ankle. She won the team gold for the USA against Russia. This memory is all the more vivid because I watched it with other members of my family huddled around a tiny TV at a campground at the Oregon Coast. My grandpa had somehow rigged up a satellite TV connection (?) in his trailer. I still get butterflies when I watch this clip.

2002 Winter Olympics: Russia vs. USA again, this time in a pairs figure skating scandal. The drama for us was even more intense because we were living in Moscow at the time. There are clips of all the performances in question on YouTube, but here is the medal ceremony.

What are your favorite or most-remembered Olympic moments? And do you share any of mine?


Liz Johnson said...

All of them, actually. Those are definitely my most vivid memories of the Olympics. I'm sure watching Michael Phelps with his 1/100th victory and then the 8th medal in the relay will be up there too.

Anonymous said...

It was actually the Russians vs the Canadians for the pair skating... :)

Bridget said...

You are so right! What's funny is that as I was writing it, I thought, "hmm, that guy's name sure sounds (French) Canadian..."

The 1/100 second Phelps victory will definitely be an addition for me, too, Liz.

Hareega said...

1- In 1936 the Olympics were held in Nazi Germany and JEsse Owens, who was black, won 4 gold medals in track and field within 45 minutes. Hitler was watching and got so mad a black guy was winning that he refused to wait for the medal ceremony like he was supposed to do.
here's a clip of him winning the 100 meters

2- Nadia Coamneci who was 14 scored the first 10/10 in gymnastic history. The scoring board was not equipped with a 3-digit score (9.99 was the maximum) so they dipslayed a score of 1.00

3- Muhammad Ali won the gold medal in boxing in 1960. Later he lost his medal. In 1996 he was rewarded another gold medal

Hareega said...

oh i forgot this, bob beamon in 1968. That was probably the best world record ever made. He jumped in the long jump for 8.90 meters, again the scoreboard could not display that number so they displayed 3 different numbers the sum of which was 8.90 meters. His coach told him how mcuh that measured in feet and Beamon started running around the fieled in celebration. Someone wrote his PhD on that jump.

Camille said...

I haven't watched Kerri Strug's vault in a long time and it still game me goosebumps. That was fun to see again!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Bob Beamon's win was probably the most notable Olympic moment, or even sports moment, ever. But Olga Korbut in 1976, when I was 21, really opened my eyes to the thrill of the Olympics. See her gymnastics routine at

I believe she was only 13 at the time.

breanne said...

I have to admit, after Kerri Strug's amazing feat, I got my hair cut just like her. I had dreams of being a gymnast, too...


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