Fun fact: the beginnings of this post originate from Summer 2016!
There is something magical about the Olympics.
The first Olympics I watched was the 2008 Summer Olympics during our family's first ever road trip to send my older sister to begin her college years at MIT. We stopped by relatives in Canada before arriving in Boston, and I remember watching Michael Phelps rack up those gold medals as we prepared to sleep on the floor of a room in the house of those relatives. Once we got back to the States, while my older sister and my parents were away at orientation events, my grandmother, younger siblings, and I spent time in the hotel. In the evenings when my parents would appease us by taking us to the hotel pool, I repeatedly kept on doing flips and handstands in the water, dreaming about flying through the air like Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. I begged my mother to put me back into gymnastics. This desire to do gymnastics remained in me; I even remember getting jealous of one of my classmates in my French 1 class as a high school freshman who was competing in it.
This past Winter Olympics, I've fallen in love with figure skating. (Side note: I am a huge fan of the Shib sibs!) I also had a brief stint in this sport from 7th to 9th grade, but I ended up quitting due to two reasons. One, the nearest ice skating rink was pretty far away relative to where we lived, and it was getting to be a hassle for my mom to drive me and my little sister there every week after school during rush hour traffic. Two, I felt so drastically behind everyone. I would see little eight year old girls doing their spins and jumps, and I felt so inadequate as a twelve-year-old just getting started. I believed that I had no future in the sport and that I'd never get to competition level, so I decided to quit. However, I'll always remember the good memories I made during my time at the rink though. I feel like I was closest to my little sister when I was in 9th grade and 14 years old, when we used to slack off and just skate around the rink talking about our silly little crushes.
Maybe a little part of me still dreams that I'll miraculously be competing at the Olympics in the future, but for now I'll stick to cycling to Alaska as my sport!