The XXIII Olympic Winter Games are over.
We all go back to our lives and forget these two weeks even happened.
We go back to our normal bickering and worry about the state of the world.
We hear about a sport called "curling" and go, "How dumb is that."
We find out a Winter Olympic athlete is going to be in town but respond with, "Matt who?" and "What Gerard?" and "What kind of a name is 'Kikkan'?"
The names will fade and the memories will blur and we'll think the games were in Pyongyang because we hear that name more often.
This is what usually happens. An Olympics draws near and we worry a bunch, they arrive and we can watch nothing else, they leave and we forget. It's a vicious cycle that these athletes we've watched don't deserve. Sixteen days out of 730? That's all our brains are allowed to provide?
I know I suffer from this - the first person I can admonish for their Olympic Amnesia is me. Even before these Olympics I found it very hard to get in the spirit. (Plus there was a snowstorm on the night of my Olympic party and only one family showed up - my Olympic enjoyment didn't start off on the right foot.)
But the more days passed, and the more started to come back to me. Twizzles. Marit Bjørgen. The tune to the Olympic Hymn. How much I love biathlon. It doesn't take much, and suddenly I'm staying up till 4:30 in the morning watching gold medal curling, analyzing whether a stone curled enough to prevent it from being knocked out of the house before the end was over.
As I sit here watching NBC's coverage of the Closing Ceremony, I get worried. Is Olympic Amnesia about to strike again? Will tomorrow arrive and normal life will just take over again? Will I get a notification about cross-country skiing and just ignore it? Will I start unfollowing all those Winter Olympians because their tweets are no longer relevant to my current state of being?
I can't let that happen! I won't let that happen.
They always say that the Olympic Flame carries on even when it's extinguished from the host city's cauldron, and that saying finally resonated with me today. We can choose to move on to the next pop culture phenomenon and forget the previous one, or we can keep those things close by as we enjoy what comes next.
Tokyo hosts the next Olympics in 2020, and things start ramping up this week as the Olympic Mascot is announced. Track and Field will be having its World Indoor Championships in the beginning of March, and even figure skating can't wander off too far because its World Championships are in the end of March!
The entire premise of The Olympic Channel was to keep Olympic athletes and events in the forefront of people's minds, and I appreciate how much they work to do that. Team USA sends its athletes all over the United States to raise money so they can continue to train their athletes at their various centers (including the one in Colorado Springs) and give them the best that they need. Podcasts and resident Olympic reporters give us information about the current state of host cities and athletes as they prepare for the next Games.
There are many people trying to keep the Olympics from fading, and I want to join them.
This Olympics was wonderful for me because I was able to share it with so many people. (Opening Ceremony party aside.) My students embraced my Olympic love and begged to watch certain things while screaming passionately for "their" athletes. Parents came up to me and stated how much they appreciated my Olympic unit and world-expanding topics. When friends and family heard an Olympic news story they knew they had to get my opinion on the matter.
More than that, I finally found a home in a Twitter family. I've been following the Star Wars Twitter for many years but felt like someone on the outside looking in. During these Olympics I found some friends with whom I could share stories and thrills! If something would happen, I would think, "What did Alison think about that move?" or "Which officiating job did Jill pick as her choice today?" or "I don't know when the curling team plays until Sarah tells me!" The ladies I met and the people that follow us made sharing the Olympics on social media so much more fun this year!
My reason for sticking with the Olympics longer than the Games themselves is twofold. First, there are so many great things that happen in between the Games that it would be a shame to ignore the events and the athletes.
Second, the next Games are in Tokyo, and I plan to attend. The earlier I can start working out my trip, the more I can start to plan and save money. And if I happen to make plans, I can share them on my Blurb to keep everyone in the loop!
My goal is to continue the Olympic Blurb throughout the off-days by posting once a week about anything relevant to the Summer and Winter Olympics. If events are nearby, I'd like to try to get tickets. When events are shown on television, I will definitely be tuning in. When documentaries and history books are published, I'll try to read up and build up my past Olympic knowledge.
It takes work, but I don't want this Olympic flame to die. The joy and passion I feel during the Olympics doesn't deserve to fade just because people aren't wearing bibs with the five rings on it. I deserve to have that joy and passion all the time!
I thank you for reading these Olympic Blurbs, and hope that you'll join me as I work to promote the Olympics (and the Paralympics too - let's not forget those start March 9!) and gear myself up to see the next Games in person. May the excitement begin!
My name is Claire Nat! You can follow me on Twitter @CeePipes for lots of Olympic comments, or follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/blurbmusings. Check out my blog for other articles!