Friday, August 22, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympic Highlights-According to Me

As many of you probably have also done, I spent the last 2 weeks watching the Beijing Olympics, enjoying every victory, feeling every fall or loss, right along with the athletes participating. Now I don't know Shawn Johnson or Lolo Jones, but I've felt a unique Iowa connection with these ladies, probably along with everyone else in this state, so below are pictures I borrowed from various online sources regarding the highlights of 'my' Beijing Olympic experience - enjoy!


I was in D.C. for the relay that Phelp's should have lost - when Jason Lezak came back in the last 25 meters to help bring the 2nd gold for Phelps. Christie and I were on our feet, fists in the air, screaming at the 10:45pm...with her roommates trying to sleep. Donna came out, she thought we'd saw a mouse or something because we were freaking out so much....but not as much as Michael :)

Can't find a picture of the race Phelps won by 1/100th of a second - but it was stinkin' amazing. Watching it in slow motion was ridiculous, the 2nd place swimmer was inches away from the wall when Phelps took another stroke to out-touch him. Amazing....was also off the couch and on my feet on that one.


I was at Iowa when Nancilea (Underwood) Foster was part of our 24/7 leadership team. I had heard she was going back to Texas to train for the Beijing Olympics, but I really thought I heard she made it as an alternate. Come to find out, I was wrong. She dove on the 3meter springboard and it was just crazy to think someone I knew and spent some time with at our leadership retreat (we weren't super friends, just had a few conversations with her) was there competing at the Olympics. Fun stuff.

Women's Gymnastics

Alicia Sacramone had a rough time in the team competition - falling off the beam, stepping out of bounds on floor.

Now, this isn't probably very nice - but these are 'highlights' of my Olympics 2008 experience - and watching gymnastics with friends one night, someone made the observation that Nastia Liukin always looks pissed or unhappy unless she's winning something....there is a little truth to that:

(Nastia got gypped out of a gold on bars due to a tie breaker)Out of this (and probably not the first time) - her nickname was born: 'Nasty-(a) Lookin'. I'm truly sorry Nastia, I'm still a fan and supporter, but I have to admit - it made me laugh. And now when I say "Nastia", I can't help but say it with an unnecessary accent.

Nastia, all smiles on the podium:And after 3 silvers, Shawn gets gold on beam.Controversy over the Chinese girls - are they 16? Their passports say so, but records turned up confirming at least 1 of the 3 girls in question is only 14. Could that mean the USA's silver could turn to gold? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

I was definitely one of those people who stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the medal rounds and finals of most of the events - sleep can be overrated (except when you're trying to stay awake while driving to work only 6 hours later!!)

Men's Gymnastics

I'm not one to be overly patriotic, but when it came to the Olympics, it was another story. I was not one to root for the Chinese - all that hype about having to win more medals - except when it came to the rings, I just couldn't help myself. That's my favorite apparatus (sweet word :) ) for the men - the Chinese are just awesome.

Chen Yibing won gold on rings - this parallel move is my favorite - ridiculous how much strength and control they must have! Their shoulders are crazy!!

Yeng Wei - just a cutie-pa-tootie :) I think I may have a small crush:

Track & Field

I was super rooting for Des Moines' Lolo Jones - she rocked out the semifinals, but as everyone knows by now, she clipped the 9th hurdle in the finals and got 7th place. It was heartbreaking to watch her reaction. She remained humble during her interview afterward, but then the camera showed her off crying by herself. It made me sad and frustrated and I wished the media would've just let her have that moment alone off camera.

Usain Bolt also dominated his events - but I couldn't get over how cocky he acted - slowing down, looking around, pounding his chest - all before he even crossed the finish line. What a punk. But he can still run fast.

Sand Volleyball

Two-time Olympic Gold medalists - this was an awesome match to watch (I couldn't believe how tall the Chinese players were). The men's gold medal match was a nail-biter - went to 3 sets, but Dalhausser dominated the 3rd game with his blocks.

Last, but not least....the Olympic Mascots:

When I was in Beijing in January 2005, we saw posters for these mascots EVERYWHERE to promote the 2008 Olympics. I literally did not see the mascots shown on tv until Tuesday, week 2 - there was a clip about Chinese kites and on one of the kites were the images of these mascots:

Either I didn't pay attention earlier in the week or they just weren't as an important icon as I thought they would be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm a sucker for the Olympics.

Even though I was exhausted, I stayed up until 12:15 to watch the All-around finals and medal ceremony.

And I'm not too proud to admit I got teary-eyed watching the last floor routines by Shawn and Nastia. It's such a great feat to put so much heart and soul and time into your passion. Love, love, love watching the Olympics. Can't wait to see if Phelps breaks the record for most golds in one Olympics!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I kid you not...

Literally not 10 minutes after I posted about the bug last night, I go to my room to get ready for bed. I'm picking stuff up off the floor and as I move my little tool kit tote bag, another of the ugly centipede bugs goes scurrying across my carpet and behind my dresser. Again, I start to hyperventilate. But the Lord brought more calmness. I go to the kitchen, grab the bug spray I have, the flashlight, and put on my flipflops.

I shine the light behind my dresser, see the huge ugly guy, and spray him with the bug spray, he comes scurrying back out from the dresser, I scream a little bit, he's a fast sucker. Then I stomp on him w/ my left flipflop - flashlight and bug spray bottle still in hand. I'm applying pressure, praying for the fear to subside, pressing my foot harder and harder, afraid to pick it up. After a few minutes, my heart rate lessens, I move my shoe - wipe some guts and legs off the bottom and scoop up the squished nastiness and flush him down the toilet.

I am officially creeped out. I HATE bugs. Lord, help my irrational fear subside - no creature can rule over me nor hurt me. Help me have patience, boldness and fearlessness.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What would I do without my dad?

I know there is a huge list of reasons I could share for why I love my dad, but one is his willingness and availability to be there when you need him....even if it's for the most ridiculous thing.

For example, tonight I spent some time at my parents' hearing about Jess's trip to Latvia and watching the Olympics. I come home to take a shower and get ready for bed and as I enter the kitchen to get some water, I see a GI-NORMOUS bug just chillin' on the wall below my air conditioner. It's one of those long black centipede-type bugs with lots of long thick legs, legs so long it looks like it's almost floating away from the wall. The kind that are fast if you miss them. I've killed about 4 or 5 since I've moved in - they're so nasty that one even kind of stained the carpet in my bedroom from squishing it. I'm getting the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it.

So anyway, I grab the flyswatter, 2 napkins (because one will just not be enough) and put on my flip flops. I enter the kitchen and the stand-off begins. I pray - Lord, this is just a bug, don't let my fear rule over me. But my fear continues to increase, as does my heart rate and anxiousness. I take a few deep breaths and just can't do it. So....I called my dad.

Yes, his first response was to laugh, but as I break down into tears, he says he's on his way. And 10 minutes later I opened the door (I was standing in my living room keeping an eye on it to make sure it didn't scurry away - flyswatter in hand, tears flowing down my cheeks as I'm still letting my fears get to me) and there is my dad - my hero of the night, his own flyswatter in hand :) "Lindsay, it's okay, remember it's just a bug. He's more afraid of you than you are of him." Ah, the flashbacks to the same lesson I was taught when I was seven.

Dad goes into the kitchen, moves the shelving away from the wall (which I was too nervous to do for fear the bug would beeline it and I'd lose him, he'd be wandering around, hidden and emerge again sometime to stir up these crazy fears all over again). I think Dad got him on the 2nd swat. Crisis ended. My heart was still pounding, cheeks still wet from tears.

Dad, I know it's stupid. But thanks for loving your little girl, your 24 year old daughter who is still afraid to kill the bugs. Tonight you rescued me and loved me and were there for me when I needed you even when you knew I could probably take care of the situation myself if you'd refused to come. But I'm truly thankful and grateful you understood and came to my apartment and killed the ugly bug. I love you Dad!