Oh, to be an Olympian | VailDaily.com

Oh, to be an Olympian

Tamara Miller

I love the Olympics. Summer more than winter (I know, I know, saying that is sacrilege when you live in Colorado.) There’s something about watching world-class athletes compete to be the best that makes me feel so ambitious. Like I might want to stop watching TV after work every night and get in shape. Once the Olympics end, of course.

When I was a little girl, my career ambitions changed every year. At a very young age, my mother told me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. I told her I wanted to be unicorn. She called a child psychologist.

After years of therapy I took on realistic career aspirations. I wanted to be a scientist, president of the United States, a rock star. When I was 8, though, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer.

I could picture it then: Me standing on the starting block for the Olympic finals in the 200-meter individual medley. An aerodynamic dive into the pool. My legs pumping me forward with underwater butterfly kicks. The first swing of my arms as I rose to the surface. The scream of the crowd as I reached to touch the pool wall, easily edging out the angry Soviet in the next lane (hey it was during The Cold War). Me, standing on a podium with a gold medal around me neck, fighting back tears of joy.

I blame my short stature and lack of athleticism for keeping me from my goal. That, and an aversion to wearing a swimsuit in front of people. Still, I daydream sometimes.

This week, while watching the women’s half-pipe snowboarding event, I tried to imagine myself as Hannah Teter, soaring above the crowds, landing the jumps and afterward, falling to my knees with clutched hands in a dramatic sign of Olympic victory.

As a 29-year-old skier who has never so much as strapped on a snowboard, such goals are not a possibility for me.

But my husband and I have plans. We could have children. They probably won’t be tall. But neither are many of the snowboarders. No one wears a swimsuit in speed skating. How much coordination do you need for the skeleton? I mean, really?

It could work.

I’m keeping the dream alive.

Support Local Journalism