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Do the Summer Olympics like a Winter Olympian!

August 11, 2016

Ski jumping in August? Eddie the Eagle can do it!

It’s time for the Olympics! It’s time for the Olympics! 
(No I wasn’t just jumping up and down and clapping my hands like a four year old girl at her first unicorn birthday party. I think you have me confused with someone else…)
We are currently right smack dab in the middle of the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio. I’m writing this post a little early, so I have no idea who’s won anything, but I’m going to go ahead and predict that we’ve already earned 16 gold medals, 8 silver, and 14 bronze. Way to go swimmers, archers, and canoe slalomers!
To celebrate that great Olympics spirit, today I’m gonna recommend another Olympic movie. Granted, Eddie the Eagle is set at the winter Olympic games, but it’s also 110 degrees outside and snow makes me feel cooler. So stay with me.
In 1988, at the Calgary games, Eddie Edwards was a ski jumper who was the first British competitor in that event since 1928. Spoiler alert: He came in dead last in both the 70 m and 90 m jumps, but was so happy to have competed that he became a crowd favorite. (Even coming in last earned him the British ski jumping records, so that was something to be proud of.)
In the movie, released in theaters this past February, Eddie is portrayed as a somewhat naïve boy who is absolutely determined to go the Olympics. He tries various track and field events, but eventually settles on skiing. When he is denied the chance to go in 1984, Eddie switches tracks to ski jumping – mostly because there was no one else to compete against.
I loved how Eddie was unapologetically determined to become an Olympian. It reminded me of Philippe Petit – the guy who tight-roped across the World Trade Center towers. Both had big dreams and dedicated their lives to achieving them. That’s my favorite part of the Olympics. Yes, the medals are fun and the ceremonies are big and fancy, but I love learning about all the people who have worked hard and sacrificed a lot to compete on the international level. Sometimes that gets lost in our media-happy world when we don’t just win win win all the time.
There’s still a little bit of a wait list on this one, so put your hold on it today, finishing watching the rest of the 2016 Rio games, and then pop this one in your player. It’s two hours of feel good fun, that just might inspire you to chase after your own dreams.
Happy Olympisizing… (*plays Olympic theme, while waving and walking off the podium)
:) Amanda


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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.