Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Olympics memories

You know I love this kind of post. As you may recall, we've been watching a lot of the Olympics at our house, despite's best efforts. It got me thinking about my favorite moments from Winter Olympics past. I accidentally discussed some of them in this post about the Summer Olympics, but here are a few more.

1. Kristi Yamaguchi's 1992 gold medal performances. What can I say? I was 10 years old at the time. I remember collecting newspaper clippings about it and everything. I think I could name every figure skater in the field, men and women, and she was my favorite. I wanted to BE her, at least until Oksana Baiul came along (see below).

2. All right, all right, looking back, the swan costume was a little ridiculous. But that spin thing where she puts her leg all the way up behind her head? WOW. I remember thinking she was like a ballerina on ice, which I guess she kind of was. Thus began a brief period of interest in "the" Ukraine (as we used to call it, remember?).

3. Surya Bonaly and her backflip. ON ICE. I don't think she ever actually did this during the Olympics but it was all anyone talked about anyway.

4. The drama of the 2002 SLC Olympics ladies' figure skating competition. Nothing went how it was supposed to. Sarah Hughes won gold, the unfortunately named silver medalist Irina Slutskaya claimed she was robbed, and Michelle Kwan fell during her routine and got bronze. After it was all over, Kwan skated a beautiful exhibition program to "Fields of Gold." Every time I watch it, I think I won't cry, but then every time, I do, always at the end when I see her face.

OK, now I realize that all my Winter Olympics memories consist of figure skating. Does anyone have any variety they could add to the mix?


lyse. hi. said...

Apollo's epic fall? Don't tell me you don't remember that. But I was wondering if you knew when Kwan fell. I have this memory of her taking a nasty fall and it costing her gold, but I might be making it up. Do you remember?


Bridget said...

There are lots of epic falls associated with Apollo in my mind. I'll have to look that specific one up.

I think we're talking about the same thing with Michelle Kwan. You're not making it up. It was 2002. It was all the more bitter because it came on the heels of 1998 when she got silver to Tara Lipinski's gold. I still don't know about that one.

JackJen said...

Actually ATTENDING an olympic ice hockey game in 2002 was monumental for me. Were you in the country at that point?

I also have memories of the "change-over" when they decided to stagger winter/summer olympics....leaving us with a winter games in 1992 AND in 1994.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Tonight we watched the flashback of the 1980 US hockey win over Russia which put my right back in our family room in our Idaho house on that winter Sunday afternoon 30 years ago. It's the only hockey game I've ever watched, or ever will watch. We were at 'war' w/ the Soviet Union so to beat them at anything was a victory never to be forgotten.

Another vivid memory is Olga Korbut's 1972 gymnastics routine. This waif-like teenager's performance was the beginning of America's fascination w/ women's gymnastics.

B-Rad said...

1980, Lake Placid, USA beating USSR in ice hockey. I wasn't old enough to remember it, but I've seen clips (and the movie with Kurt Russell) and it seems like that was a defining moment in Olympic history.

Also, 1994 with the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal. I'm surprised you didn't mention that one.

Bridget said...

B-Rad, the Kerrigan/Harding stuff was huge for me back in the day. The only reason I didn't mention it in this post is because I did mention it in this post.

elliespen said...

Actually, Surya Bonaly did do her backflip in the 1998 Olympics. She was completely out of medal contention because of a fall she'd had on a jump (and the fact that she was up against Michelle and Tara, etc.) and so she decided to throw in the backflip to at least go out with a bang. The flip wasn't allowed at the Olympics so she dropped pretty dramatically in the final rankings but I remember watching it and Scott Hamilton commentating and saying, "I can barely do that and land on two feet!"

2002 Michelle Kwan double-footed the landing on one jump and fell on another which opened the door for Sarah Hughes.

The epic fall for Apollo wasn't him falling; it was the skater in first place tripping and taking out the top half of the field so some unknown kid in fifth or sixth place at the time got gold. Apollo still scrambled and got silver.

I also loved watching Chris Witty speed skate. And pretty much anything to do with snowboard cross or halfpipe.

Yeah, this comment got a bit long. But I love the Olympics, too.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Oh yeah--Tonya Harding. What drama--she never had a dull moment in her life. Crashing vehicles, tossing hubcaps at people, showing up in racey videos, etc. But wow, what a top-notch skater she was. I remember the thrill of watching her skate at Clackamas rink before the Olympics. We watched right alongside Connie Chung & a bunch of other reporters.

Bridget said...

Jen, that was the great irony of 2002. We left Utah Valley for Russia just in time to miss the Olympics.

Ellispen, it seems to me like backflips SHOULD be allowed in the Olympics. Thanks for your better memory.

Mom, looking back wasn't it kind of trashy after all? I do remember seeing her skate, though.

Kristi said...

Another figure skating scandal from SLC was for pairs figure skating when the Canadians skated perfectly, but got silver. However, the Russian pair,even though they had a fall, won gold.

Kristi Yamaguchi ended up being a curse to my mom. She won gold the year after I was born and then everybody thought that I was named after her because our names are spelled the same. So much for originality.


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