Favorite Olympics Memories from Our Childhood

My daughter has been watching the Olympics this summer. She is fascinated by the gymnastics and the diving and is looking forward to the track and field events. It’s fun to watch her watching, because I know that these are the images of memories. That Michael Phelps losing gold and then winning it many times over, that Gabby Douglas’s gold and Jordyn Wieber’s heartbreak are the things that she’ll remember years from now when she is with her own children. It will take her back in time to when she was a kid.

My strongest Olympics memory is of the Los Angeles in 1984, when American Mary Decker tripped and fell during the 3000 meter race. I was glued to the TV watching as Decker, who was the favorite to win, seemed to trip on Zola Budd’s heel (Budd ran barefoot) and fell to the ground. Neither won the race. The image of Decker, injured on the ground, stayed with me for years. It was an image of defeat, of hopes and dreams dashed, of agony.

And of course I remember the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident. And to think that it was all before reality TV!

I asked some of my fellow bloggers (and a tweeter!) about some of their favorite memories. Click through to see their responses!


  • Karen 1 of 11
    I remember being 10 years old, on summer vacation with my family in Hilton Head, SC, and watching Nadia Comanici get the perfect 10 in gymnastics. Is it possible that was the same year Olga Korbut wore little pigtails? My sister and I spent the rest of the vacation perfecting the end-of-routine pose: hands overhead in a rigid 'V,' legs straight and together, chest and belly puffed out. -Karen

  • Ann 2 of 11
    I don't remember it, but I was potty trained during the Olympics. Trying to praise me, my dad told me how proud Micky Mouse would be when I went on the potty. And, reportedly, I asked "And Nadia Comaneci?"- Ann, Ann's Rants
  • Kelcey 3 of 11
    My step-father took me to the Lake Placid Olympics when I was 10. I remember absolutely nothing except getting super cool Olympic pins for my jean jacket. He could have saved a lot of cash by leaving me at home and just buying me some pins. - Kelcey, Mama Bird Diaries
  • Isabel 4 of 11
    For me it was Torvill and Dean's Ice Dancing. I think also 1984. I remember their "Bolero" routine like it was yesterday. I still throw myself on the floor dramatically like Jane Torvill. But it's usually because I'm having a tantrum. - Isabel, Alpha Mom

  • Alexandra 5 of 11
    In 1988 when Greg Louganis cracked his head on the diving board that scared the bejeebies out of me to this day. My poor kids know the name of Greg Louganis because they've been hearing it since the first time they dared defy me and let their dad goad them onto the board: "Careful or you'll end up like Greg Louganis!"- Alexandra, Good Day, Regular People

  • Ellen 6 of 11
    I'll never forget Torvill & Dean skating to Bolero in the 1984 Olympics. To this day, I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful ice-dancing performance. I have them to thank for my inspiration for becoming a world-class figure skater. Oh, OK, in my fantasies.- Ellen, Love That Max

  • Annie 7 of 11
    My most memorable moment was when Greg Louganis hit his head on the springboard during the preliminaries at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 - then went on to win the gold medal with a 25pt margin. It was sad that his HIV status overshadowed the fact that he won the gold and that it became more about his injury and the blood in the water. I adored him! - Annie, Lost in the Chaos

  • Kevin 8 of 11
    Mark Spitz winning 7 gold medals in swimming at the 1972 games in Munich. I remember watching this at my grandparents' house on Long Island mostly because their living room couch and chairs were covered in that very fashionable-for-the-time clear plastic wrap. The excitement and patriotism were unforgettable; the butt-crack sweat, uncontrollable. - Kevin, Always Home and Uncool

  • Amy 9 of 11
    I remember thinking that MaryLou Retton was the cutest thing ever and I ADORED her. Even though her nickname was "Thunder Thighs." I just re-watched her 1984 Olympic routines and think they're still better/more fun to watch than what a lot of the girls are doing now. She was just incredible. - Amy, Bitchin' Wives Club

  • Heather 10 of 11
    My favorite Olympic memory is of Joan Benoit Samuelson winning the very first women's marathon in LA in 1984. I jumped up and down in my grandparents' living room and cheered when she crossed the line, grabbed an American flag and then did another lap. She and Greta Waitz are the reason I wanted to run marathons. -Heather, The Days Are Just Packed

  • Alex 11 of 11
    My greatest childhood Olympic memory: I was at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (and I was only 17 so I was totally a child), and I remember watching (and hearing) Kerri Strug's ankle snap. The television monitors in the arena kept replaying the moment so I may just be scarred for life. Now, I feel like my favorite moment should've been Kerri Strug making the second landing onto her already injured ankle for team USA -- not as scarring though.- Alex, Late Enough

Photo source: Wiki

For more of Marinka, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy. Also, follow her on Twitter, where she never refers to herself in the third person, but does have a potty mouth. Sorry!

More on Kid Scoop:

6 Things I Learned From Renaissance Paintings

12 Things a Manhattan Mom Wants You to Know

12 Best NYC Books For Kids

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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