Oscar Pistorious, the double amputee runner from South Africa, was a surprise of the Olympics. First they finally let him compete after years of appealing, a very uphill battle with lots of adversity firing down at him. He competed in the Paralympics but wanted to compete in the Olympics. Some thought his running legs gave him an advantage. Finally they let him in. Then he did very well in his events. He ran the best leg of the relay; his time was where it needed to be. But the biggest Oscar surprise? He was my Olympic crush.
Every Olympics (or sporting event that I don’t have anything invested in) I like to have a favorite to root for. I think that’s why the commentators do back stories on various players. “You might be for this team, but this player donated a kidney after he rescued a litter of puppies from a burning building.” As a last resort, I pick my favorite by best looking.
Do I like the Green Bay Packers? No. Do I like Clay Matthews? Yes. Do I like the Steelers? No. Do I like Troy Polamalu’s hair and industrial strength dimples? Yes. It helps during playoffs or finals when your team is no longer in it, but you still want to watch.
The Olympics are like a summer fling. You may have never heard of some of these people before, but over a few days you get to know them and start to care for them. Then suddenly summer’s near over and you go your separate ways.
First it was the Hamm Twins in gymnastics. I thought they were adorable and they were from Wisconsin. I knew where they were from, you have to root for that. Then it was Phelps. But Phelps is like the guy you meet over summer then it turns out he goes to your school and he’s popular so you no longer have access to him. He’s everywhere so you have to deal with your emotions year round.
I fully expected the swimmers to sweep my heart away this Olympics, between Lotche and Phelps and all the other guys. I was really surprised when I found myself watching track and field and following Oscar.
I knew about him coming into the Olympics but he had something working against him as far as I was concerned. He’s from South Africa. Some people still don’t like Russians. I don’t like South Africa purely because of the Apartheid. I don’t care that it’s over and this generation had nothing to do with it. I dismiss South Africa purely because of it. But I found myself giving Oscar the benefit of the doubt and he warmed my heart. He is the best thing to come out of South Africa since Rooibos and Cry, My Beloved Country. (Okay, and Charlize Theron).
I found him very inspiring to the point of me feeling I really have no excuses. He plays rugby and he runs. He has the softest eyes. And obviously I don’t know him, but my mind’s eye made me feel like he was the type of guy you should be with. He looks like he would respect a girl and take care of her. He’d open doors for her. Woe be to the person who looks at him funny or makes a comment if we ever go out.
We won’t so it’s okay. I hope he’s doing well in his current events.