When I was a youngster, back in the dark ages before Smart Phones, GPS, or even TV, imagination was my strength (and salvation). A fair-sized (in my memory anyway) swamp lived a half mile down the road. Sometimes, unknown to my mother, I would sneak down there during the day and skate by myself on “rubber ice.” That is melting ice probably only held together by a mother’s general everyday prayer for her childrens’ safety. I occasionally did a triple axel-triple toe loop, but sadly, no one was there to verify that I was the first woman to successfully execute that move. However, I digress.
I thought that Russia did a beautiful job of opening and closing ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. Too bad somebody wasn’t kind enough to nudge Vladimir Putin awake so he wouldn’t miss seeing the wonderful job his country did in producing it. Russia does, indeed, have a sense of humor. During the opening, in case you were also asleep, one of the five Olympic rings malfunctioned and did not open. The closing had hundreds of dancers who fully formed four of the five rings, and then the fifth ring slowly opened. That was funny.
I watched bits and pieces of all of it, but the ice dancers and the snowboarding totally fascinated me. The boarders made my stomach turn as they miraculously executed all those flips before landing perfectly. Kudos to Shawn White for being so gracious when he lost. Most of the performers were gracious about losing (at least on camera). Although it must be quite a blow when one does not attain the gold, I could smack the ones who grumble and groan because they “only got a silver or bronze.” Maybe they should consider giving it to the next in line who would probably love to have any medal.
The one I really enjoyed watching was Noelle Pikus-Pace who won a silver medal for Skeleton Racing. After finishing, she actually scrambled up the wall to get to her husband and children for hugs. I do believe she was the smilingest person I saw at the Olympics. In case you didn’t know, that is the race where someone rides a very small sled down a frozen track while lying face down and reaches speeds of over 80 mph. Certainly makes me want to try it.
I watched very little of the hockey games. That is one rough game! As disappointing as it was that both American men and women’s teams lost, I could not help but be happy for the rough and tough happiness of our neighboring Canadian friends when they got their medals.
There were so many stories behind the stories like the Canadian skier with the older brother who had cerebral palsy and was so very excited with his brother’s win.
The downhill skiers had the worst conditions with the snow being so soft. It was helpful seeing their jumps compared to the Washington Monument or a 46-story building. It gave a very real perspective of how high they jumped.
The little girl skaters who picked up the flowers from the ice after every performance were so cute. You just know they will be out there performing one day. One dancing couple who were 6’4” and 5’, well, when he threw her in the air, I held my breath that their relationship was as solid as that move turned out to be. As fast as they manipulated around each other I expected to see them to end up as a twisted pretzel on the floor. I loved every twirl and jump and graceful move they made. Others just made me sigh in their gracefulness…dancing to Ava Maria. Ah well, back to reality. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”
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