Monday, August 13, 2012

The Olympics and The Stadium (Kourion Part III)

Another Olympic Summer games have come to a close… once again I didn’t get to see a single thing. I know the Olympics aren’t for everyone, but the summer games are something I look forward to every four years. Having done club gymnastics as a kid, diving through high school, swimming into college (briefly), track through college (now coaching high school) and currently doing triathlons, the Summer Games are my thing.

Four years ago I was in the middle of nowhere (NE BC) in a cabin with no internet, no tv and no phone. This time I fared slightly better in that I got to listen to the BBC radio on the way to and from work, getting ample highlights and the occasional live feed of the odd event. Did I really miss much? I’m sure I did, but it wasn’t all a loss… I did get to listen to the men’s 100 meter final live which is more than NBC provided (so I hear).  Mark my words: in Brazil I will be there front and center (Rachel I’m holding you to it!).

So, since I could not celebrate the Olympics while watching it we celebrated in our own little ways. Ellis sported her USA gymnastics shirt almost every day (I wish I could have bought it in every size because she’s almost grown out of it!), and I took Miles to ‘the Stadium’ a few times… which brings me to the next part of my post: City State of Kourion Part III, The Stadium.

I first went to the Stadium with Ryan, Paige and Kathy when we toured Kourion and the Temple of Apollo. It was amazing standing in a place where the first ‘Olympic’ events took place. Of course I asked how long it was which Frank replied “one stadia”… oh ya. That’s almost 200m for those of you who don’t know (I didn’t). In this very place people raced, threw javelin, weight throws, long jumps… it is something I’ve always loved about track and field. It is such a pure and simple sport. If you can run the fastest, jump the farthest/highest, throw the farthest you are the victor. I love this sport. And watching Miles run as fast as he could up and down this ancient stadium, having the time of his life and running for no other reason than it is the most fun thing he can imagine to do in that moment, reminded me how much I love it. Perhaps more so than the Olympic games ever could. I remember my friend Dave, a few years ago, telling me about how he was finding the joy in running again. Running to the store etc and just enjoying it. Watching Miles who has nothing but joy when he runs really brings the point home. It is inspiring to see.

Speaking of inspiration… the Olympics always renew my desire and drive to pursue my athletic goals. In the past, it has been these events that restart my workout routines, renew my excitement for competition etc. This year, however, I have been fortunate enough to have that inspiration continually provided before the games began by some amazing friends. For that, I would like to thank them and recognize their amazing accomplishments.

Dave, whom I already mentioned, always shows such a joy and enthusiasm for running (and triathlons) and spreads that enthusiasm both in his work and in his personal life.

Amy, one of the most hardworking women I have ever met. She placed fourth this year at the Olympic Trials in the Woman’s Hammer Throw with an awesome PR. I was so lucky to get to watch the competition (it was at the Nike Campus so the sports bar downtown was playing it!). I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in the next four years.

Bethany, who’s honest account of her past year in running inspires me every time I read about it. I love her blog ( She is so open, hardworking and an amazing athlete. She represented the US on the National Cross-country team this year, and was a fraction of a second from qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 3000m steeple chase. I cannot wait to see, and read, about what she accomplishes over the next four years as well.

Curly, who after a long hiatus from running and two kids, started training again. I don’t know his initial motivation, but watching him (through his facebook posts) drop some major weight (I believe around 20 lbs?!) and then seeing he’s running 19 miles at an average 6:44 pace (10 of which were at 6-6:10 pace)! It is amazing to see and I can’t wait to hear how he does in his upcoming marathon.

And my friend, Mel. Two weeks after having her second baby, while I’m still lounging about, she is out logging miles. Seeing her out there running, often with her newborn and 2 year old in tow, is so amazingly inspiring. I know how exhausting having these little ones can be, and it is so much easier to just relax when you have a spare moment, but she gets up and goes.

I cannot begin to express how inspirational each of these people are. Thank you all for motivating me. Any accomplishments I have in the future will be in big part due to you. I hope someday to be as inspirational as you all are.

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