I have always loved the Olympics. I am not a big watcher of sports in general, but something about the collection of a WHOLE BUNCH of different events, some of them really bizarre that you can only watch at this time, all at the same time, with participants from all around the world, I find enormously exciting.
But this year, we have a more personal connection to the games. For the last several years, Jared’s cousin Jessie has been planning her life around the hope of playing hockey for Switzerland in the Olympics. She moved there for three years, worked a bunch of odd jobs (including one at a candle factory; she brought some nice candles home for Christmas one year), practiced with men’s teams, and generally worked her butt off for ages. It seemed like such an amazing opportunity, and we would keep up with the latest developments when we saw the cousins at family parties, or what have you. But the deal wasn’t sealed until she found out in January that she made the team.
It knocks my socks off to see Jessie out there. I grew up best friends with her older sister, and went to a few of Jessie and Tina’s hockey games, mostly back in middle school. I was the figure skater, being total crap at every team sport I tried. I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around the rules of hockey, let alone how you were supposed to skate without a toepick. But I cheered them on, and watched with increasing hope and amazement when Jessie’s Olympic dreams continued long after I hung up my skates.
I can’t tell you how much pride I have to see a member of our extended family in Sochi. I’ve been telling everyone about it who will listen. She should be out cold in bed by the time I get a chance to post this, but we will be tuning into the opening ceremonies tonight, and I hope we can see her smiling face in the procession of athletes. We’ll be wearing red and white for Switzerland tonight!
The “Ravellenic Games” (formerly the Ravelympics, formerly the Knitting Olympics) are always the perfect additional excuse to participate in the excitement and have something to do while watching all that TV. Mom and I are team competing this year, and we’re keeping it a bit modest since we both have a pretty untenable pile of WIPs going already. We are doing the Northern Lights shawl to show off our handspun gradients, which are all wound up and ready to go:
Mom’s epic alpaca:
And my two-ply shetland:
No red and white in these projects to speak of, but if the Swiss ladies make it to the Bronze medal match, I hereby pledge, I will cast one on. Hopp Schwiiz!