Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympic Know It All

I've already had three outbursts, and the US Women's Gymnastic team is only through the floor exercise. I can't handle this kind of craziness! But, I guess that is what the Olympics are all about. I can't even describe how much I love the Olympics. They are so exciting!

Funny Story That May Describe My Olympic Obsession:

When I was a senior in college, I worked as a research assistant in the Marriage and Family Studies Lab at Binghamton, which happened to have its clinic right next door to the Anxiety Lab. One day as I was entering data (I actually don't remember what exactly I was doing, but I was probably entering data) one of the graduate students stopped by our lab to see if she could "borrow me" for a minute. Since I was the only person in the lab I obliged, and accompanied her to a small conference room that contained a podium, a chair about 4 feet in front of the podium, and a tripod with a video camera placed behind the chair. The graduate student told me she was about to start her dissertation study and needed a few people to serve as "guinea pigs", so she could come up with a categorization system for different kinds of anxious behaviors.

Sounds awesome, count me in! (Sarcasm)

If you have ever read my blog, especially a lot of the posts leading up to the wedding, I am sure you know that I have some of my own anxiety issues. Needless to say, I immediately started sweating and I could feel my face turning a deep shade of red.

Next she explained what I had to do: "I am going to sit in this chair while you give a speech about a current event. I will videotape you. You will need to talk for 5 minutes."

FIVE MINUTES?!? That is such a long time! Remember that I am unprepared and was asked to think of a topic about 30 seconds before "my presentation" began. I racked my brain for something that I was at least a little well versed in when it hit me.....

In the two weeks before this guinea pig experiment, the 2006 Winter Olympics took place. Of course, I watched almost every event with great intensity and dedication. In an instant, I would have to think of every event I watched, all the controversies, triumphs, and come from behind winners, and probably even the boring stuff (like describing the sport of curling) to fill up the 5 minutes.

I don't remember my entire speech, but I do recall discussing:
  • Where the Olympics took place
  • The women snowboarder who showboated at the end of a run, fell, and ended up getting silver instead of gold
  • Michelle Kwan's withdrawal from the figure skating competition
  • Emily Hughes replacing Michelle Kwan and her sister's gold at the 2002 Olympics
  • Curling
  • Bode Miller's drinking, and lack of winning
  • Sasha Cohen falling and the Japanese lady winning instead
  • Random Olympic related thoughts that popped in my head at that moment
Somehow I pulled it off. Granted, it was quite terrifying just standing up there talking while she stared at me with no kind of reaction or conversation, but once I got in my Olympic groove, there was no stopping me. I just kept jabbing away about countless 2006 Olympic related stories.

Once I finished and the graduate student and I were walking back to our labs, she thanked me endlessly, telling me how it is supposed to provoke anxiety and I did really great considering the circumstances. As we parted ways she said something like "I can't believe how much you know about the Olympics, you must have watched every event!".

Why yes, mean graduate student, I did.


  1. I'm GLUED to the tv and internet when the summer Olympics roll around. I was seriously yelling at my tv last night during the men's 4x100m freestyle relay (and if you didn't see it, go watch it online). I think I scared my cat.

  2. Okay did you watch the men last night? So many outbursts I lost count. I watched the womens too... but the final last night was intense. I cannot believe that guy fell on the pommel horse. Who does that??!?!