Ahhh, the Olympics. It's the prospect that skaters both aim towards and fear. They are a time of pageantry, national pride, and scandal. They are titillating and frustrating at the same time.
I had never really watched the Olympics until 1994. I'd caught glances of Scott Hamilton in 1984--I remembered his costume best. (I was only 5--so it's kind of hard for me to remember much else.) I remember watching Debi Thomas and Katarina Witt in 1988, but I don't remember Debi falling, so it must have been the exhibition or something :) I remember everyone talking about Kristi Yamaguchi when she won the Gold in 1992, but I was still not intrigued enough to warrant any attention...
I was really brought into the Olympic movement by, of all things, the Tonya/Nancy saga. Yes, I watched the Lillehammer Games for the wrong reasons, but in the process, I ended up getting involved with the best sport in the whole world (IMHO).
But the Olympics themselves also transfixed me. I was enchanted by the little town of Lillehammer, Norway. I loved the shots of the Storgatta, I watched Dave's Mom interview the gold medalists on The Late Show. I was completely in love with the Games and everything they stood for. As I watched the closing ceremonies in 1994, I cried. I had become so emotionally involved with what was going on halfway across the world...it was amazing. It really touched me.
Needless to say, I was really excited for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. I seriously began the countdown the day the '94 Games ended. I watched my tapes of the Games, taped every tribute and flashback show. I ate up the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, simply because they were another form of the movement that I loved.
Well, the Olympics finally came in February 1998. I was very pumped. I watched the Opening Ceremonies, and about halfway through, I began to get a sinking feeling. This was not going to be Lillehammer again. It seemed that the magic was gone.
And it was. The Olympics were under fire--the ratings were down, and CBS wasn't doing as good of a job (probably due to the fact that they had lost the bid to carry the Winter Olympics until 2010 or something...) It just wasn't magical anymore. Well, I wrote summaries for both of these games. The Lillehammer summary is complete-- it was written in 1995, with some minor edits since then. The Nagano summary is currently incomplete, but I intend on finishing it soon.
1994 Winter Olympics--Lillehammer, Norway
1998 Winter Olympics--Nagano, Japan
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