PARK CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 12: Markus Schairer (L) of Austria leads his semifinal heat as he went on to win the men's Sprint U.S. Grand Prix Snowboardcross Finals at The Canyons Ski Resort on February 12, 2012 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
I'll readily concede I am not too big a fan of the Olympics. It's not that I don't enjoy a great deal of it, it's just not something I fanatically follow. I don't get too depressed when America doesn't win or, when it's being held a world away, wake up at an ungodly hour to catch the latest, most important game.
My very first memory of the Olympics is really the 1996 bombing in Atlanta. I remember that well. Other than that, though, I couldn't tell you much about those games except that Muhammad Ali opened them, which was pretty cool.
With that said, Salt Lake's hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics certainly is, and will probably always be, an amazing personal moment. So much happened in the month of the games, and even though I wasn't old enough to party or go out on my own, you could get a sense the city was really on the verge of becoming, or creating, something special. Prior to the Olympics, Salt Lake was mostly known as a smaller western town in flyover country that also hosted a pretty good basketball team. After the Olympics? Well maybe the perception didn't change much, but people now knew where we were and for good reason - it's not often your city hosts the Games.
It was an exciting time to live here. It was an exciting time to know that everyone around the world was watching an event taking place in your city. I guess if you're reading this from New York or L.A., you're used to that. But Utah? Salt Lake City? Nothing of this magnitude had ever happened here before.
It was special.
I was lucky enough to be there. I knew it then and I know it now. I went downtown with my family, checked out the sights, went and watched a concert and thoroughly enjoyed myself even though I froze my butt off. It's something I want to experience again, especially now that I'm older. Hopefully we'll get that chance and it's possible, with Salt Lake looking at hosting the games again.
So, what's your favorite Olympic moment & memory?
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