Tag Archives: athletes

How the Olympics Inspire Me

Even though I am not what you might call a sport enthusiast, I definitely enjoy watching the Olympics.

Over the years, I have watched a wide range of Olympic events, including some that I admit I probably would not have watched had they not been under the Olympic banner. This year, between the CBC network’s curated coverage, supplemented by so many streaming opportunities for specific events, it made it so easy (and maybe a little addictive) to follow the action.

The variety reminds me a little of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” that I used to watch as a kid (back when we only had 12 channels). The packaging of that show appealed to this curious young mind as it was a veritable smorgasbord of sporting events to discover. If I was more athletically inclined, who knows what inspiration could have been sparked later in life.

Unfortunately, my weak eye-hand coordination, my lack of overall coordination, my lack of physical stature and the lasting trauma of dodgeball in my pre-teens, prevented me from pursuing a career in sports.

Even after the Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s not like I was running out of viewing options, given the long list of binge-worthy streaming programming I had accumulated over the years. The Olympic coverage remained an enjoyable change of pace that I looked forward to.

Plus, as a recent retiree, watching the Olympics seemed even more special and more symbolic to me, as I could take in more coverage than I usually would have back in my working days. This year, the Olympics were an additional reminder of my new found freedom from the “9 to 5”.

Why do I watch the Olympics? Continue reading


Filed under Health and Wellness, pop culture, Running, TV

The Writers’ Olympics

I don’t think I am different from other writers. My mind can sometimes wander between paragraphs.

As I tossed a crumpled piece of paper in the wastebasket across the room, I cheered to myself, arms in the air, “Two points!”

But even though writing isn’t much of a spectator sport, I started daydreaming about what other sporting events could form part of an Olympic-level game for writers of all backgrounds.

The opening ceremonies would begin with poets, writers, editors, screenwriters, proofreaders and translators entering the arena, smiling and waving to a cheering crowd of spectators with an appreciation for the written word.

The athletes would gather on the field, in the centre of the arena, behind their national flags, taking care not to drop their notepads and laptop computers as they capture their thoughts on this momentous occasion.

The judges then enter the arena and gather by a symbolic pedestal of reference books, to take the oath to officiate with complete impartiality and to uphold the principles of good grammar and spelling.

Oprah Winfrey, the queen of book clubs around the world, would declare the games officially open with an enthusiastic, “Le-e-et the ga-a-ames be-e-egi-i-i-n!” Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction, Humour

What Writers and Athletes Have In Common

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESPerhaps you may think that athletes are a pretty superstitious bunch: a lucky golf shirt, hockey socks that don’t get washed for months, putting on one’s shoes or pant legs in a specific order, tapping the goal posts before a game. Everyone has their ritual and it isn’t always logic that rules such behaviours.

Even in my journey as a runner, I have had an inside view of all kinds of pre-race rituals including lucky running shirts, lucky socks, lucky shoes, anti-chafing products, anti-blister products, special meals, a prescribed series of stretches, a perfect playlist of music in a specific range of beats-per-minute, taping one’s nipples so that they do not bleed, and icing body parts to fend off inflammation, to name a few. To an insider they all make sense, but out of context, some might be perceived as downright weird. At the end of the day, whatever it takes to keep someone happy, engaged, comfortable and injury-free in order to go the distance and meet their goals, seems generally well-accepted.

The writing world is very much the same as some successful authors throughout history have been known to have their unique methods to achieve peak performance:

– Mark Twain and Truman Capote were reported to have written several works in bed, specifically in the horizontal position.
– Agatha Christie and Edmond Rostand were known to write in the bathtub in an effort to fend off interruptions.
– Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus are reported to have written standing up.
– Several writers are known to have done their best work in the nude, including Victor Hugo and Benjamin Franklin.

If you have a look on the web, there is a segment of the writing world that refers to itself as “car writers”, people who seek the privacy and seclusion of their car in order to concentrate and produce their best work. Continue reading


Filed under Humour, Running, Writing