Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Spirit

I always enjoy watching part of the Olympic coverage, whether it be the summer or winter games, but I feel a particular sense of anticipation as the 2010 Winter Olympics begin this evening.  Obviously, part of the excitement comes from the fact that they are being hosted by Vancouver, just 100 km from where I live.  Another factor is my sense of connection to the this games’ torch relay.  Just a few weeks before the torch was lit for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games we were in Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympics, and were shown where the Olympic flame is lit by the rays of the sun in front of the ruins of the Heraion temple.

Cruise 2009 547After a 10-day relay through Greece the flame was entrusted to Canadian officials at the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens.  We had spent several days in Athens at the end of our holiday and had passed the stadium numerous times during our stay.

Cruise 2009 877I felt a little thrill when I watched the news coverage of the torch ceremonies and thought, “I was there”. 

Last Sunday the torch relay came closer to home—literally—at one point passing less than a mile from my house.  I can’t describe the feeling of seeing one torch bearer appear in the distance,

Olympic Torch Relay 022

then approaching and handing off the flame to another.

Olympic Torch Relay 024

These Olympics also mark the first time I will be taking part in a related knitting event.  I was unaware of the Yarn Harlot’s blog when she initiated the Knitting Olympics four years ago and chose not to participate in the Ravelympics in the summer of 2008.  But with Canada hosting the games it only seemed fitting that I take part this time around.  I will be working on two pairs of socks for Team Tufty (the SKA team) and attempting to finish up my long-neglected Tangled Yoke Cardigan for Team Manic Purl (one of my favourite podcasts, hosted by a Vancouver resident).  Unfortunately, I will not be watching the opening ceremonies as I cast on; instead, I will be the car, on the way to my parents’ house for the weekend.  But that won’t stop me—with the help of a handy-dandy clip-on light I will be able to start a plain vanilla sock and work on it as I travel.  With any luck, I will meet my knitting goals by the time the Ravelympics end on February 28th.

Speaking of luck, they say good things come in threes but it was with great astonishment that I learned that had won yet another yarny prize a few weeks ago.  I had entered a contest sponsored by Skacel and WonderMike of the Fiber Beat podcast and I was chosen at random to receive five skeins of Zitron Unisono, a springy, variegated merino wool. 

Knitting 1397It just arrived this morning and is destined to become a sweater...after the Olympics, that is.  Let the games begin!