Thursday, August 9, 2012

Best of the Olympics: Galen Rupp and Andy Murray

Around this time during a usual Olympics cycle, I'm feeling ready for it all to be over. The laundry's piling up, the kitchen's never quite clean, and I'm not getting enough sleep. As a kid, I enjoyed the Olympics but then I married a complete Olympics fanatic. (Until fairly recently, Mike spent hours after each Olympics collecting and compiling news articles into scrapbooks!) So we are up every evening until midnight, glued to our tenuous non-cable connection to NBC.

The two most exciting moments of the Olympics for our family occurred last weekend.

Galen Rupp, silver medal in the 10,000 meters

On Saturday afternoon, we gathered around the TV to watch Portland's own Galen Rupp compete in the 10,000 meters. Unfortunately Mike had to leave to get his hair cut, but the boys and I made enough noise on our own. As everyone knows by now, Galen won the silver and Mo Farah of Great Britain won the gold...after sprinting to the finish in the final lap. Galen was only the third American to medal in this race in the last 100 years!   

I loved two things about this race:

1. Our family has a personal connection to Galen through his parents, Jamie and Greg. They both work at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and helped take care of Chris when he was in the NICU. Greg is a respiratory therapist and Jamie eventually became the nurse-manager of the unit. Jamie led the NICU Family Advisory Board that Mike and I served on, and she was hugely instrumental in the startup of Precious Beginnings: Parents Supporting Parents of Critically Ill Newborns, the charity we helped found. When our little friend Zacary died, Jamie was a huge help to his parents and arranged for them to have Zacary's memorial service at the hospital. Several of us NICU grad families were following Galen's race closely and reporting on Facebook and Twitter. When he won, our friend Catherine called from North Dakota, where they were visiting and watching with family.

Mike reminded me that Galen videotaped baby Christopher and did a research project on him when he was about 10 years old. We've followed Galen's career from afar, as Alberto Salazar took charge of his training in Oregon and then recently when he broke Prefontaine's record at the Olympic trials.

2. I loved to watch the friendship and connection between these two men...they were both looking out for each other during the race and coordinating their movements...and then they were both exultant to win medals together. This seems rare in track & field, when each person is usually out for him/herself. 

With Galen's mom, Jamie,
at a hospital event a few years ago
We are excited to cheer Rupp and Farah on again on Saturday in the finals for the 5,000k. Unfortunately, we will not be home to watch it live. So the big question is whether we want to have a spoiler, or if we will avoid ALL media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. all day long to find out the result in the evening.  

Of course, the other exciting thing about watching these two incredibly talented athletes is the fact that Farah is running for (and won a gold medal for) Great Britain!
Which leads me to the other exciting event last weekend: 

Andy Murray wins gold!

The only sport that Mike likes nearly as much as the Olympics is tennis. And he's a hardcore Roger Federer fan. But a month ago he put aside his Federer fantasia to cheer on Brit Andy Murray at Wimbledon (which Murray lost). How disappointing that was to see Murray to get so close but then falter.

I do not often get up for men's tennis finals, because invariably they are held at extremely early hours of the morning. As I said, the Olympics are tiring me out! We had stayed up too late the night before...but on Sunday morning I couldn't sleep. I just had a feeling that I should wake up and watch. And was I glad I did!

Andy Murray won gold, and Great Britain rejoiced!

Summer 2008 (last Olympics)

How time flies!


It seems like just yesterday when we were watching the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008...in Hawaii! Obama was running for president, and it was the last time we visited Hawaii. (Boo hoo!) Chris was nearly 12, Kieran was 5, and Nicholas was just 1.

And by the time of Rio 2016, Chris will be nearly 20 and heading off to his second year of college (fingers crossed!), Kieran will be 14, and Nick will be nearly 10! Wow...that puts everything into perspective.

The Olympics makes me feel like life is passing me by! Must not take this time in my life for granted!  

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