I was nine years old in 1984. The Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles and I watched Mary Lou Retton with the fixation of cat-to-mouse. I was too young to know that the Cold War was raging on, with Russia boycotting our Olympics as payback for our boycott of the Moscow games four years prior. I was too young to know how big the world really was, and that Germany was split into two pieces divided by a wall, and that people killed each other over petty things like color and religion and oil. I just thought the different costumes were cool.
I was living with my grandparents that summer, staying at their house on Chautauqua Lake. The living room was large with white carpet, the television to the left in a built-in console on the floor. I would lie on that carpet for hours that summer, the only time I gave up swimming in the lake, to look at the costumes and the flags and the colors. I was too young to know too much, but I did know that the Olympics were a very big deal. And more than that – they were magical. Read more >>