Personal ‘Olympic’ memories

  • Aug. 8, 2012 3:31 p.m.

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics, summer or winter version, it didn’t matter to me because as a child I just enjoyed seeing the athletes do things I felt no other human could do.

Our summer games were recreated on our bay and we tried as many events as we could.

It was easy to have are own 1,500m (or the mile as it was known back then). We just ran around the block and the first back to the start was the gold medal winner. Of course we had to keep an eye out for cars backing out of the several driveways but nobody got run down that I can recall. The sprints were held in the park and went from one fence to the other which was really only about 60 yards at the very most but that didn’t matter to us. What was of concern was putting the brakes on after running at what we figured was world record speed in our minds. A few fence boards did suffer but again, no trips to the hospital for the contestants.

The shot put was simply an old softball someone had lying around. The only danger here was standing near the thrower because our aim was not all that good and the stray toss sent us scrambling.

The swimming events were handled at the local outdoor pool and usually the winner was the one who was brave enough to dive into the unheated water that we were blessed with. If it was a warm day though the swimmers has to dodge all those other people in the pool and that was an event all unto itself.

There was no diving as we all did the same thing-we jumped, so that was hard to judge.

The long jump was held with the sandbox as the landing area and there was the odd knee scrape as you hit the wooden edge from time to time.

In the area of gymnastics we had the high bar which was actually the top bar of the swing set and the balance beam was the top of a fence which of course came with its own snarling dog on the other side so you really concentrated on the balance part.

Boxing sometimes happened spontaneously and was never longer than a minute when a parent would break it up. Of course we tried javelin with an old hockey stick but somebody’s mom put a quick stop to that one when one of us convinced a little brother it would be cool if he was the javelin returner. Use your imagination on that one.

I don’t recall the medal count but we always had a great athletes’ meal at the end of each day and couldn’t wait to compete the next.

Go Canada!