Monthly Archives: February 2013

how i fell in love with the olympics


hey anderson,

wow, it has been months since my last letter.  i feel terrible.  i had a busy christmas and then got really sick, and i didn’t think you need to hear me whine!  and since then it’s just been business as usual in my world, and how interesting is that to hear about?  i mean, i like hearing about your world, but it’s ok if you’re not as fascinated in return!

so we’re currently remembering the calgary 1988 winter olympics.  the city is all excited trying to relive that experience.  as a 7 year old it really was the coolest thing to happen.  i remember so much about that time and it started a love affair with the olympics that i still have today.

here are a couple of my calgary 88 best memories

-we had several school assemblies where we got pins that i still have and treasure.  pin collecting is a huge underworld that i got to experience first hand.  i did a couple trades and i still remember how exciting that was!  i don’t collect many pins now, but i did get quite a few when i went to the olympics in vancouver a few years ago.

-we went to one the medal ceremonies one cold night.  that was exciting but what i remember most was after a man talked to my mom he walked away and she said he was a jiggalo.  for some reason i got some sort of explanation as to what that meant.  obviously learning traumatizing information like that in a magical setting leaves some indelible memories!oly2

-heidi and howdy were hands down the best olympic mascots ever.  seriously, other cities shouldn’t even bother trying and should just ask if they can use them.  i loved them so much and still do.  in fact, a couple  of ago after dinner at my boyfriend’s parent’s house he was getting our coats out of their hall closet and there was a pile of old toys.  on top were a perfect set of heidi and howdy dolls.  i almost wept when his mom told me i could have them.  see how cute they are!

– i was just getting into figure skating when the olympics happened so i was totally into everything that was going on.  it was a good year for canadian skaters, so that made things even more exciting.  i remember going to a couple events, one of which was the super boring technical skating component that i think they got rid alltogether.  but the even that was the most amazing was the gala event.  i went to that 25 years ago today.  wow, i am super old.  but i guess if being alive in 1988 meant i got to go to that, then i suppose i’m ok with it.  figure skating galas are the best.  it’s when the top 5 or so from each discipline get to have fun.  that means fun costumes, music with words and backflips.  seriously this was one of the most amazing things i have ever been to.  i’ve been to other galas and the ice capades, but there as nothing quite like the 1988 gala.  elizabeth manley was the belle of the ball with her silver medal and i adore her and well up thinking about her to this day.  look! i saved my ticket!!







when i moved to europe a few years later it was really cool that people knew where i was from because we hosted the olympics.  and when they happened in 1992 and 1994 it was especially fun to cheer for my country while living abroad.  my parents were really supportive of my olympic love, we went to innsbruck and albertville as other former host cities.  and once, we went to greece and made a special trip to Olympia where it all began.  of course, i was a petulant teenager by that point and i actually refused to get out of the car.  i still can’t believe i did that and am quite furious, but it’s also kinda hilarious.  and to be fair, i’ve never really been all that interested in the summer olympics so maybe that’s why i was so disinterested.  let’s give me the benefit of the doubt 🙂

well anderson, sorry my first letter in ages is a rambling collection of memories, but it was nice to share them with you all the same.