- ABOUT US
Megan Rossman, Associate Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
By Megan Rossman
August 2, 2012
Every four years, I’m reminded of what an athlete I am not. It’s that time again. The 2012 London Summer Olympics are upon us, bursting with patriotism and international collegiality. Oklahomans, as usual, are in the thick of it, representing with the other Americans, taking part in rowing, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field, and basketball.
I’m not a big sports fan—I like Thunder basketball and dog shows—but there’s something different about the Olympics. These aren’t people playing a game for which they’re being paid millions of dollars (not until endorsements); these are men and women who’ve trained most of their lives for a chance to compete for a few minutes on this world stage. Day in, day out, they’ve put in years of grueling work, overcome the requisite obstacles, and now the time has come to collect their rewards. Maybe that’s why millions of us tune in; we’re all living vicariously through these super-motivated superhumans who, with their determination and gleaming white smiles, seem to embody the American Dream. Then again, isn’t that why so many people watch sports? We like to think we could do it, or could have, if we trained hard enough, but most of us know deep down we’re just not the people we yearn to be. So we turn on the TV.
In my younger days, I practiced ballet, gymnastics, and tae kwon do. I could walk a mile faster than I could run it, which is probably still true, and I instinctively shy away from swiftly moving projectiles, so I was never any good at things like soccer and softball. I was no Olympian in the making. I was content to conquer the ancient games on Nintendo and PlayStation.
These days, I’m not much different. I go through periods where I exercise and longer periods where I don’t. I hate the gym, it’s too hot to be outside or it’s too cold, there aren’t any sidewalks in my neighborhood, etc. I am a champion in the excuse-making event. But I recently bought a treadmill and started eating quinoa, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.
Even before this year’s opening ceremonies, I was immersed in Olympic scandal and general athletics as I helped put together the upcoming September/October issue of Oklahoma Today. From Jim Thorpe’s troubles with Olympic medals and eternal rest to high school football glory, we’ve got quite a sports package coming up. There’s a photography portfolio, a Q&A with Thunder coach Scott Brooks, and even a piece about homeschool sports.
So, sit back and let these defectless specimens of physical prowess entertain you for the next week and a half. You deserve it.