Monday, August 04, 2008

My "Olympic" Moment

This morning I took DD#2 to San Francisco International Airport. She's off to Japan, again, to participate in an International Camporee sponsored by the Osaka Girl Scout Council to celebrate their 60th Anniversary. She is one of three girls and one adult representing the U.S. at this event, along with 900 Japanese Girl Scouts and 45 Girl Guides/Girl Scouts from other countries. Last year we went together as part of an exchange program; this year, I'm staying home. She was excited and a little nervous--just like I was.

Did I mention she's only 15?

While we're waiting for the rest of the group, we check out fellow travelers in the International Terminal. There is a large group of young women wearing light blue warm-up jackets with "USA" on the back. Their luggage consists of various boxes and bags, including navy blue daypacks with red trim, bearing the Speedo brand name and USA embroidered in white.

"I bet they're going to the Olympics," I said.

"What event?" DD#2 answered.

"Swimming?" I guessed. Okay, the Speedo logo was a giveaway.

We had walked over to cases of Victorian majolica ceramicware on display in the concourse since we had time to spare. On our way back to our meeting spot, I noticed that one of the young women had a navy blue jacket that said "Synchro" on it.

"They're the Olympic Synchronized Swim Team," I said.

"How do you know?" DD#2 was a bit impressed until I told her about the jacket.

We watched them for a bit and I have to admit, both DD#2 and I were a bit starstruck. I mean, real Olympic athletes were only about 100 feet away! "Take a picture," I suggested, thinking she would take a picture from where we were standing.

But DD#2 surprised me. She took out her camera, walked over to the group and asked the coach (a woman my age) if she could take a picture. And confirmed that, yes, this was the Synchronized Swim Team. The coach suggested DD#2 wait until all the team members were there. When everyone had arrived, the group gathered for pictures (there were several proud parents and friends to see them off) and DD#2 got her picture. (I was watching her luggage.) Unfortunately, I didn't think to take one with my cell phone, so her picture is currently in Japan.
We did notice one piece of the Synchronized Team's luggage bore a tag that read "Too Heavy to Steal." And they didn't wait in the usual baggage check line.

Later, when the group walked to Security someone started to chant "U-S-A!" And there was a round of applause as they passed by. I said, "Good luck, ladies!" and one team member said, "Thanks!" They looked excited and giddy and happy--just as young adults off to the Olympics should look.

So I'll be watching the Synchronized Swimming competition with more than my usual interest and DD#2 asked that we record it for her, in case she's not home.

For those who think Synchronized Swimming is not a "real" sport, I beg to differ. I took Synchro for PE in college. Not only did I build up my arm strength--almost every move uses only your arms--but I had to remember to point my toes, move to the beat of the music, and smile at the same time. I gained new appreciation for the sport and it wasn't nearly as demanding as it is now.