Some lucky Lynn students are experiencing the 2012 London Olympics this week courtesy of the Sports Management course, “The Olympic Games Experience.”
I, too, was lucky enough to have attended the Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., in 1996, courtesy of my cousin who lives there and had some serious connections. (I call her “peach” cuzzie because she lives in Georgia and she calls me “beach” cuzzie since I live in South Florida.)
And I also consider myself lucky to have attended not one, but 3 performances by Sir Paul McCartney – and that doesn’t count the times (count them: 2) that I saw him perform with a few of his buddies: a little group who called themselves The Beatles back in 1965 and 1966 at Shea Stadium.
So, Friday’s Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics created the perfect storm for me as these two events came together and reminded me that I have indeed been at the forefront of some major spectacles.
I thought it was very fitting that Sir Paul close out the very British show. After all he was knighted by the “free falling” Queen herself many years ago.
But I have to admit that I was fast asleep by the time Paul made his appearance. However, the good news in this electronic age of ours is that I found it on YouTube, so I could watch him in all his glory – and remember my glory days. I, of course, am way too prejudiced to rate his performance, but unfortunately I mistakenly started reading some of the comments people posted and it was clearly the battle between the “haters” – the he’s so old and can’t sing people – and the “lovers” – that would be all of us baby boomers who grew up to the soundtrack of the Beatles. Love it or leave it, there is no denying that the man is a legend and deserved the coveted spot representing Britain. After all, it was The Beatles who brought all that British influence to America back in the ‘60s.
I would have loved to be there to sing along to “Hey Jude” with Paul, and double dip on the spine-tingling chills you get at the spectacle of an Olympics Opening Ceremonies combined with a Paul McCartney concert, but I’ll have to be content that I did experience both separately.
At the Atlanta Opening Ceremonies, Celine Dion sang “Power of the Dream,” Mohammed Ali carried the torch and lit the cauldron, fireworks exploded overhead and there was the feeling of being part of something very special.
My Olympic experience certainly didn’t involve the hands-on experience our students are getting, but in my role as spectator I cheered as the torch came through the streets of Atlanta, collected lots of Olympic pins (that seemed to be the thing to do), wandered through the Centennial Olympic Park (I was long gone by the time the bombing occurred) and getting my own bird’s eye view of some of the Olympic events.
I’ve been following our students’ journey through their social media posts and catching some of the action on TV, and at least I can say that once upon a time … I was there.