Aug 4 2012

Oh, Olympia!

Its three am, I am sitting at my desk in the hospital. There’s little noise throughout the ICU with the exception of the rhythmic breathing of ventilators, the old man storing a few doors down, and low hum of the Olympics replaying Micheal Phelp’s latest swim to the Gold. There’s no where I would rather be. Scratch that. I would rather be at home, my new home, snuggled up with my husband and puppy.

We are at day 8 of the 2012 Olympics in London, and the US is currently leading the way with 43 medals, 21 of them being Gold! I have never been much of a summer Olympics watch-er, as my extended family was born and bred winter sporting types. Since I have never been a fan of the cold, I sweetly adapted to the stigma, and soon loved the winter Olympics. Is there really a greater a reason to stay inside during a blustery 16 days of a Minnesota winter?! I think not. Hot chocolate, a snuggly puppy, and the tv had a date, from schools recess to night fall for wonderful days.

But why you say?

Its’ a bird! Its’ a plane! It’s team Denney! Ski Jumping in style.

My uncle Jim Denney, was at the top of the sport, flying in style on his way to both the 1976 + 1980 Olympics. His father, Grandpa Jim, trained him and his brothers, Jeff (was also an Olympic competitor) and Jon, and now they have passed the love of the sport down to their children. Jimmy and Jeffery, my cousins, have been on the teams at the 2002 + 2006 games. I am sure we will all see the day when, their children will become the next big thing. After many winters of watching all of my cousins train out on the 90k at Chester Bowl in Duluth. Not once did my heart desire to join in the “fun” as they all called it. Even, the little ones at age five, were barrelling off the 10k brave as can be, with Olympic hopes and dreams in there hearts. Though the competition gets my heart pumping, the high risk of a fall, can in some cases be tragic.

We have seen our share of injuries out on the hills, many just minor injuries, resulting in a few weeks of rest and recoupe. However, we have also seen many that have came close to ending much more than just an Olympic future. We have seen heartache, and pain. But we have seen many of our friends have made it far. And it has been a pleasure to have gotten to know many of my cousins teammates. As well as see them continue to compete and go on to mentor future generations of youth.

This year however, an tragic ski accident far from the jumps, crushed the Olympic dreams… If only for a short while, of my dear cousin Jeffery. After a bad collision with a tree, and multiple fractures throughout his tib-fib region, doctors had no choice but to remove the lower half Jeffery’s leg. Though the injury was devastating, and career altering, his spirits were soon perked by the visits of multitudes of people showing love and support. Many paralympians came to visit him, and soon his spirits began to soar, because once again, he had the fire sparked. Olympics were not out of his reach. It merely meant a new goal. Over the following weeks of therapy, his down-trodden spirits began to rise again. Physical therapy has been rough, but he soon will be fitted for a prosthesis. And he is set on racing in a marathon before winter. You go dude! He has made many jokes about how he will be the first paralympic ski jumper – because he is more “aerodynamic”. Yeah, I don’t get it either. If you have a second, send some positive vibes his way. He could use it.

US Men’s 4’s Rowing just took Bronze! 44 medals!