Sunday, May 21, 2006

How it Ends

I had a really delightful weekend and a more in depth post will follow when my iphoto program gets fixed but for tonight, I just wanted to share the picture that is wreaking all manner of havoc with my emotions. I worked for the Olympics in Salt Lake in 2002. I was a Sport Coordinator for Short Track and Figure Skating. My little team was responsible for anything athlete and official related in the competition venue. Bev, who was part of that team and remains a dear friend of mine, was visiting this weekend and she gave me a bunch of photos from the Games. All of them have had me either laughing or crying but I have a particular affection for this one.

First of all, I love Short Track Speed Skating. I didn't even know what it was before I got my job but in my two years at the organizing committee, I fell in love with it. My boss was a four-time Olympic short tracker who was incredibly passionate about the sport and was very respected in the short track community. It was sort of like if you didn't know a thing about basketball and you got to learn about it from Michael Jordan. So I love that this picture was taken on a short track night. But the thing I really love about it is the two girls dressed in black there in the right hand corner with the dorky headsets. Those girls are Bev and me. We were pretty vigilant about making sure that volunteers and staff didn't take photos during competition. Take them all you want outside the venue or during a medals ceremony, but during the competition, we wanted the athletes to be able to do their best, and not feel like circus animals. And because we were so strict about it, I have hundreds and hundreds of Olympic snapshots logged in my brain, but none that I can physically hold in my hand. Nothing to prove that I was there and that I did that. Bev got these from a guy on the event services staff who had worked enough Games to know that there were ways to be unobstrusive in your photo-taking, and also knew that you would be sorry if you ended up without a photo of yourself behind the big blue curtain.
I love this picture because although I have no idea which night that was, or what I was doing right then, I know that I was enjoying absolutely every second of it. I was with coworkers I adored, dealing with athletes I admired, doing a job I loved like I'm not sure I can ever love a job again. I love that I have a little souvenir of the tiny tiny part I played in a big world event. I love that four years after the Games ended, seeing them again can have me as worked up as I am right now.

1 comment:

Edahn said...


neat blog. there's a psychologist who studies activities where your ego seems to disappear into your activity. he calls if "flow". i saw you on chosennet. thought i'd say hi.

~edahn (