Every four years I do this. Every four years I start reading news articles and opinion pieces about athletes who will compete in the upcoming Olympic games. It’s my way of getting prepared. It’s my dry land training regimen.
Usually I wait until after the holidays, but this year the Winter Olympics have been on my mind a bit earlier in the season. I wonder why?!
My method is not scientific. My process is haphazard at best. My choices are guided by instinct (see below*). But having a list of a dozen or so athletes to follow during the games makes the viewing and rooting experience so much richer. So here is a preliminary list of athletes I’ll follow in 2010 and why…
- Tony Benshoof (luge) – hates airline travel, loves to listen to the radio, loves road trips, has to push through pain to do what he loves. I can identify with all of those, plus I just love saying “luge”.
- Sara Studebaker (biathalon) – loves the camp-like atmosphere of training camps, likes going to new places. Add to that the biathalon always reminds me of snowy chukkar hunts in the hills above the Deschutes River with close friends.
- Steve Mesler (bobsled) – childhood friend of dave’s (one of my closest friends from boston), he recently gave up his spot (temporarily) to Stephen Colbert during a “training” run in Lake Placid. A friend of Dave’s is always a friend of mine!
- Kaylin Richardson (skiing) – trains in Chile, talks about respecting the process. I started this blog after following a friend’s blog who was teaching in Chile, and you have to cheer for someone who loves the process. The process is as much a part of a writer/photographer’s life as it is part of an athlete’s life.
- Apolo Ohno (speed skating) – from the Pacific Northwest, will become the most decorated American Winter Olympian with one more medal in Vancouver, the way he wears his bandana reminds me of Rafael Nadal. He’s from the Northwest and he reminds me of Nadal – ’nuff said.
*Yes, I root for the Oregon Ducks – it’s only right since I have two degrees from the University of Oregon. I also passionately follow the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots – a natural legacy from my years living in Boston. But people often look at me funny when I mention that I’m pulling for the Texas Longhorns. I’ve never lived in Texas, I haven’t even visited. So why do I root for Texas? It’s simple: a love of design (their kick-ass logo combined with their sweet school colors) + a love of sports = a soft spot for the University of Texas. Like I said, it’s not scientific.