Friday, February 10, 2006

The Culprits



I’m watching the Opening Ceremony tonight for the 2006 Winter Olympics and have decided that my mom and dad are to blame for me not being an Olympian.

So I called to tell them as much.

“Hi. I’m leaving a message you tell you that you failed me. I should have been an Olympian. You should have started me training when I was five so that by now I’d have already been to the Olympics. If you decide to have any more kids, then you should raise that kid to be an Olympian."

What Olympic sport I did not specify. (Is it better to be celebrated as part of a team, like the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team? Or is it better to be one shining standout, like Jesse Owens?)

A few minutes later my mom called back, laughing.

"I thought you said you wanted to be a lesbian. And I asked your dad, 'Why would she have wanted us to make her a lesbian?' And your dad said, 'An Olmpian, Susie. An Olympian.'"

More laughter from her. She went on to tell me that "only one in about two million people" go to the Olympics.

I told her we'll never know if I could have been one of those people.

Two of those people happened to be from Marion in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Kim and Wayne Seybold are the brother and sister figure skating duo who finished 10th. (Wayne is now the mayor of Marion.) They got their start doing counter-clockwise laps on four-wheels at the Idle Wylde Skating Rink on Meridian Street, just a few miles from my house.

I spent many hours on that polished hardwood, grooving to such artists as Whodini, Dana Dane and L. L. Cool J.

The little city of Marion raised $40,000 to help send them to Calgary. And though they didn't medal, it's unlikely anyone from Marion even remembers that. But they do remember that Kim and Wayne are Olympians. When they got home, Marion threw them a parade and later named a little spot of grass with swings and slides on it Seybold Park.

Too bad I didn't do better by Ray and Susie. That little park could have been Daugherty Park.

"Well, I'm sorry we failed you," my mom said. "But I'm glad you didn't say lesbian. I've got enough to worry about."

1 comment:

big bri said...

You're still young, maybe it's not too late to reach your goal.And it's definetly not to achieve that other thing either...not that there's anything wrong that.