Thirty two years ago, my first Olympics was boycotted.
Twenty two years ago in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Ben Johnson tested positive for doping. My childhood admiration took a tumble as I realized honesty was not a given in life.
Fourteen years ago, while immersed in my own running pursuits, I was enamored of greats like Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey at the Atlanta 1996 games. I was readying to enter my senior year in high school and complete my first-ever Olympic distance triathlon. My Princeton application was in the works.
Twelve years ago as Sydney hosted Olympics 2000, I was finishing my senior thesis research on the Outer Banks. My guy was finishing Army Advanced Camp and we were getting ready for our final year at Princeton. The world had not yet seen 9/11.
Eight years ago as Athens hosted and Olympic greats such as Carly Patterson and Natalie Coughlin took stage, I was just beginning my journey as a mother while newly pregnant with our first child. My husband and I had recently reunited after his year-long tour in Iraq. We were starry-eyed in love, anticipating a baby’s birth that would come a month earlier than expected.
Four years ago as the Beijing Olympics got off to a brilliant start, I was a new mother-of-three, nursing my newborn on the couch while watching the opening ceremonies unfold and Michael Phelps win his golden eight. At the time, I had no idea what life would look like with three young boys. I didn’t know the trials and tribulations to come; or the joys and celebrations to follow.
And by His Grace, we’ll make it to 2016.