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The Olympics and Me
Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland
Baron Pierre de Coubertain, Modern Day Olympics Founder
Fred Lorz. Do you know who he is? Well, I do. Since I was a kid I knew of both useful and useless facts about the Olympics. Heck, I had all the books about the games, memorized Olympians by heart, and by 6, I could name all the venues of the 28 Olympic games without drinking Promil.
The fascination to the Olympic games might have sprung from the fact that I was surrounded by people in sports. My grandfather was President of the Olympic Committee for more than 5 Olympiads. It could also be because I was a frustrated Olympian myself wanting to be the first Filipino Gold Medal winner, praying that they included piko (hopscotch) as part of the games. Other than that, I had 2 lofty goals, to be inside the Olympic Museum and to be in an Olympic opening ceremonies.
So imagine how it felt to have learned that my wife was assigned for a sortie in Switzerland and a quick scan of the small country pointed that the Olympic museum, the one which houses Olympic trivia, Olympic memorabilia, and whatever Olympic one can think was but a 20-minute drive from the apartment. I guess I was there more than any Filipino has had. At least once a month whenever I was in Switzerland, and maybe weekly whenever we had guests.
This Friday, the Olympic torch will again be lit up to auger the 2004 Olympic Games. The venue - Athens, Greece, was where we were as our last country to visit last year - a year ahead of the opening ceremonies.
Let the Olympic spirit start and let's rally and pray for the first Gold Medal for the Philippines.
Ow....Fred Lorz? He won the 1904 Marathon in St. Louis, USA. But before he was able to get his medal, he admitted that he was able to overtake the other runners by thumbing his way - he got a lift some few kilometers before the finish.
Want more trivia? (am itching to dish 'em out)
o The first modern-day Olympics in 1896 was in Athens, so for 1996, they fought to their teeth to host the centennial Olympics only to bow out to who else - Atlanta, USA. Killjoy!
o We've actually won a Gold Medal. In 1988, Arianne Cerdena won the Bowling Gold Medal for Ladies but the medal wasn't tallied. It was then a demonstration sport after which it was never made part of the succeeding games.
o Basketball? yes, we won 5th place in the 1936 Olmypics, losing only one game to the eventual gold medalists, the US. But due to points system we placed behind 3 other teams.
o The Olympic games are held during leap years - and also during US Presidential elections.
o This will be the first time that the games will start prior to the Opening Ceremonies. There will be games on Wednesday, prior to the Friday the 13th Opening. (and oh yes, Greece was the 13th country I've visited in the last 13 years).
Believe it or not.