I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my dream to be an Olympic athlete.
It started when I was in Grade 5 and the Olympics were in Barcelona. It was a great Olympics. The theme song by Andrew Lloyd Weber Amigos Para Siempre was even more moving than Memory, Kieren Perkins smashed his own world record in the 1500m freestyle final, and I became determined to march into an Olympic stadium as an athlete.
I wrote in my Grade 5 diary:
“I have a dream to get to the Olympics not as a spectator but as a competitor. And God Dam it if I don’t. I am turning 11 next week. My days of being ten are numbered.”
The only problem was that I wasn’t at all sure which sport I would excel in. I wasn’t worried though. I assumed it would only be a matter of time before I discovered it.
It hasn’t happened. Instead, one by one I have gotten too old for all the sports. It started with gymnastics. By the age of 13, when I should have been reaching my gymnastical peak I couldn’t touch my toes. Then I realised I couldn’t swim fast, then I realised I couldn’t run fast. Then I realised I was hopelessly uncoordinated, ruling out all ball sports and anything with a stick.
Fortunately, in my primary school diaries I also said I wanted to be an actor, a great debator, travel around the world without using aeroplanes like Michael Palin, and (this was implied) become a nun. So still, lots of options. But oh! The Olympics would have been great.
PS I also used to want to be one of the cats in Cats but that’s not happening either.