Although it will definitely show my age, my first memories of the Olympics are watching a very early broadcast from Rome in 1960 with Jim MacKay writing results on a chalkboard. Since then I have always had an Olympic dream.
Combine this with my childhood memories of my maternal grandmother telling me stories of when she was a young teenager, living in Kiev and taking the train to visit her older brother in Moscow. Her stories of the wonders of the city made going to Sochi a goal since it was announced. Shortly after her train adventures, my grandmother escaped just prior to the revolution and emigrated to Chicago.
I am not sitting in JFK with the first leg of my adventure in the books waiting for my flight to Moscow, more than 100 years after my grandmother’s last visit.
For the last several days I have experienced various levels of anxiety depending on which news report I read about security and the construction status of the media hotels. Now that I am underway, I have really settled down. The prospects of my next 9 ½ hour flight to Moscow can really temper any excess energy, either good or bad.
I am really pleased to have the opportunity to see Moscow both on the way over and on my return to see the places my grandmother used to tell me about. I am truly lucky that the nephew of a Minneapolis friend will be meeting me and giving me a brief tour. It really doesn’t get better than that.
Yes, when I arrive in Sochi on Thursday I am expecting lines and confusion, without the British efficiency of the London Games in 2012. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised, but I am prepared to be patient and understanding.
My plan is to post just a bit from the Games at least every other day!