Monday, August 6, 2012

My Olympic Experience

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I'm a big baseball fan.  I love cheering for the University of Nebraska-Kearney football team where my son goes to school.  I follow my alma mater, MIZZOU, in basketball. And I'm usually up for a brisk walk or game of miniature golf.  But my all-time favorite sporting event has to be the Olympics.

Winter or summer, I'm a fan.  There's something thrilling about the competition.  But even more than that, I'm captured by the emotional impact that comes with each country's patriotism and the fun, intriguing and often touching stories of the competitors.  For example, I can so relate to the emphasis advertisers and the media are putting on the athletes parents, families and coaches this year.



Michael Phelps accepting trophy for being most decorated Olympian in history
So for a couple of weeks this summer, I'm in fan heaven.  I'm also on a couple of tight deadlines this month, so I've been very careful about scheduling my Olympics watching.  But, knowing American Michael Phelps will be swimming for an historic achievement or that miracle man Oscar Pistorious of South Africa will be breaking a disability barrier when he runs the 400 meters or those Olympic darling gymnasts will be flinging themselves into the air more bravely and gracefully than almost anything I've seen sets up a true motivating reward for me--meet my writing goals for the day and I get to watch.  Fail my writing goals, and I'll miss the chance to see history in the making.

The Fab Five win Gold
One Good Man












Want to know how big a fan I am?  I've written fan mail to athletes.  (And got a reply from a cross-country skiier--he inspired me because, he, too had asthma)  As a teen, I never read TEEN BEAT or followed rock stars--I subscribed to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and had pix of athletes tacked up in my room.  Even my very first Intrigue, ONE GOOD MAN, featured a former silver-medalist swimmer (fictional, of course) as my heroine. 

Is anyone else out there a fan of the Olympics?  What event(s) do you like to watch?  Or is there another sporting event that pushes your emotional buttons?

Since I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll offer a copy of one of my backlist titles to a lucky poster.  Or, if the winner prefers, I'll send a copy of my brand new release, KANSAS CITY COWBOY.


24 comments:

  1. Hi Julie,

    I always find some off the wall event that I did not existed, and that is my favorite for a time. In the winter Olympics it is Curling. This summer is was the two man white water event in the man made river.

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    1. I saw some of that, too, Gayle. Looks pretty exciting. Almost looks like something I'd like to try--provided the current isn't always that strong and no one is timing me. ;)

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  2. Hi Julie, I, too, am an Olympics junkie. I have recorded ALL of it and if I'm not here to see it live, I watch the recoding. My favorite seems to be whatever is on but when the archery was shown I was glued to the set. I was so excited...I KNOW these people including the narrator. I also looked for the young man from Nebraska shooting skeet but I have to admit I missed that one. And I love the opening and closing ceremonies! Yep definately a junkie.

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    1. Hey, Lilsis--I was sad that I missed the opening ceremonies while I was away at the RWA conference (Scott gave me a blow-by-blow account when I got home--the Queen parachuting in with James Bond--so British--so clever).

      I didn't realize there were fellow Nebraskans competing. Cool!

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  3. Hi Julie,

    I love the Olympics. Swimming is my favorite. I love Michael Phelps and all he has accomplished. Part of me wishes he wasn't retiring. He's only 27!! I like all the other sports too. Like you, I never liked the Teen Beat guys. I had pictures of Dodgers baseball players when I was a teen. I had the biggest crush on Steve Sax.

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  4. I agree, Tammy. I've been so impressed with Michael Phelps--with all the media attention he's been receiving, and he's just been so gracious. I'm glad he was human enough to cry (manly, sort of crying ;)) at the last two medal ceremonies. Sometimes, I wondered if he was human--he makes me think of a tank plowing through the water, when they show him coming right at you doing the butterfly. Amazing! But he's said some humble things about his teammates, his coach, and his mom, of course! I so admire him!

    Oh, and it was George Brett for me. Lots of Olympic athletes and lots of baseball players on my walls in high-school.

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  5. I have been a fan of Beach Volleyball for years... have enjoyed watching it this Olympics... also watched quite a few of the swimming events... did not know Phlelps received an award for his achievements (sp?). Also have been watching indoor volleyball, gymnastics, etc...

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    1. Hey, Colleen--

      I've watched some of the beach volleyball, too. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-??? have established quite a tradition, haven't they?

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  6. Oh man, I saw Oscar run and it was awesome to see! There was even an interview with him and one of his races how he didn't know to run!

    I like Misty May-Treanor and Kari Walsh-Jennings too.

    This year I've tried to watch the sports that don't get all the attention and get limited airtime - archery for one. And over the weekend I watched an Equestrian event that was pretty cool to watch.

    MarcieR

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  7. Ah, here's someone in the know... it's Kerri Walsh-Jennings (thanks, Marcie!)

    Equestrian is another one I love. I wonder if the horses get a medal, too. They should. It's a team sport. ;) I haven't seen any of that this year, though, other than a highlight reel NBC had of the Queen's granddaughter competing.

    I enjoy watching the shooting events, too. Usually, the competitors look like average Joe's--almost like I could do it, too. But... they are so accurate so often, no way could I compete. ;)

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  8. I hate the tape delay, so if I can I will catch the events that are streaming live. I love to watch swimming, gymnastics and the track and field events. The fencing and rowing are becoming favorites, too.

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    1. I know. I've had to train myself not to check the Internet news in the morning over breakfast. I was seeing winners and disappointments before I ever had the chance to see the event. It's kind of like sticking my fingers in my ears and going la-la-la. ;)

      I've enjoyed the rowing, too. I love how supportive the Brits are of the home team--and it's fun to see where William, Kate & Harry show up to watch events. Haven't seen any fencing yet.

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  9. I like the gymnastics events.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Ditto! I missed last night because of a meeting. But I don't think it went as well as the US team had hoped.

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  10. Relay races and archery are my favorite. I get teary when I see some of the athletes miss out on a medal by a fraction. Overall its a great Olympics so far.

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    1. Agreed, AviJ. This seems to be a particularly good Olympics. Lots of drama in the competition; not too much drama outside the competition (doping, throwing games to get a better spot in the elimination brackets, etc. Sigh.)

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  11. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraAugust 6, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I love the Olympics both summer and winter! In the summer I love watching the swimming, diving and gymnastics the most. What was really neat for me this time was this past Saturday I got to watch the women's trampoline. I have never seen this event but the girl for team USA lived in the town 20 mins away from me. It's so neat to have a local in the Olympics. Even though she didn't medal she was the first to reach the finals of the trampoline for the USA. Apparently it's only been an Olympic since 2000. I also got to see Oscar run and how inspiring is that! Add in Michael Phelps and our Fab Five and I can go on and on. Like you said Avi it's been a great Olympics!!

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    1. How cool to know someone local competing. That really is rooting for the home team. I saw some of the men's trampoline and it seemed so scary to me--just flying higher and higher and higher, flipping and twisting, with only a small X to land on ;)

      I agree, Oscar was inspiring to watch. I loved seeing the Olympic spirit, when the winner of his heat (Nigeria? Grenada?) traded number flags with him. Such a sign of respect.

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  12. Love watching the Olympics. Would have liked to see more equestrian events in prime time, but caught them over the weekend and this afternoon. I have been watching all the water events and the white water kayaking was cool. The beach volleyball has been great to watch both women's and men's. Watching track and field at the present time.

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  13. Another nebraskan will be in the polevault tomorrow from Norfolk as well as some plaing volleyball.

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  14. Hey, Ruth--I sent out another book. Hope this one reaches you. ;) Whoever got the last one, I hope they enjoy it!

    I haven't watched any during the day--I've just got too much work to do. If I wasn't on deadline, though, I'm guessing I'd have it on all day long. Just so much to see, and NBC is doing a good job of covering all the events, not just the commercially popular ones.

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  15. I think I read about the Nebraska pole-vaulter, Lilsis. Didn't know about the volleyball. Cool. Even more reason to watch!

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  16. And the winner is... Lilsis!

    Congratulations, Maggie nosed your name out of the pile and selected you as the winner! Just send me an email and let me know if you want a backlist title (let me know which one) or a copy of KANSAS CITY COWBOY, along with your mailing addy (I know I have it somewhere, but that helps), and I'll get the book out to you ASAP.

    Thanks for blogging with me, everyone! I'm off to watch some gymnastics. ;)

    And you can catch me on the Petit Fours & Hot Tamales blog Wednesday, and at the Just Romatic Suspense blog Thursday and Friday.

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  17. Love It! And I would love a copy of Kansas City Cowboy! Thank you.

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