Olympic nostalgia and the link between music and memories

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“Home” by Phillip Phillips will always remind me of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I heard it 5 billion times a day in July and August as NBC used it with footage of various events, especially gymnastics, which has always been one of my favorite sports (I was a gymnast for a year or two when I was little and I loved it! However, the gym I went to was a bit competitive and I was told I would never be a professional because I was too tall. I was like 8 or 9 years old. I digress…). I’m actually not sick of the song (yet), which is incredible to me. I think it’s because of that sense of togetherness that the Olympic Games brings to the world. The song reminds me of the feelings I get when I watch them. It’s like when I hear the Olympic Theme… but we’ll get to that soon. I can’t find the intro/promo that I’m thinking of, but I did find this version from the Olympic Gymnastics Trials in San Jose. It’s a similar idea and feel.

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell will always remind me of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The song was used in the opening ceremonies with an aerial acrobatics routine. I cried. Like a baby. It’s a beautiful song to begin with, but now I feel like I have an emotional connection because I think of the Olympics and that few weeks of my life in February 2010 when I was unemployed and I spent my days watching Olympic curling (they seriously play it like 24/7) as I wrote cover letters and submitted applications. It was a really rough time for me, but the Olympics was my escape. I think my connection with Mitchell’s song comes from just hearing the right message at the right time. I’ve looked at many things from both sides, but I still really don’t know anything about anything. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here.

It’s not just the actual games that seem to turn me into an emotional basket case. P&G has been airing their “proud sponsor of moms” commercials for at least the 2010 & 2012 games. I am particularly fond of the commercial featuring “Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel.” First time I saw I – yep you guessed it – cried like a baby.

These types of emotions aren’t only linked to the Olympics, obviously. I just remember hearing “Home” on the radio the other day and I immediately thought of the Olympics and how much I miss them and the feelings they bring that I can’t seem to describe. The emotions seem to range from a sense of hope, to belonging, to peace, to competition, to dreams coming true, to sadness after losses, to so many other things. I’m rambling and I’m not entirely sure what this blog post is even about anymore.

I suppose I started writing this because I was listening to music and I heard “Home”. I’ve also been missing the Olympics desperately lately. I would love to come home in the evening and turn on the coverage. I’d love to hear the Olympic Theme song (“Bugler’s Dream” and “Olympic Fanfare and Theme”), which sounds so regal and glorious and awesome. It’s one of my favorite pieces, though it’s really a medley of part of Leo Anaud’s Charge Suite and Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams. It’s all a little confusing, but feel free to read more about the history here. It reminds me a bit of Aaron Copland. To me, it’s patriotic without being obnoxious and over-the-top American. Someone out there understands me, right? It’s simply a beautiful composition.

I don’t really know what I’m saying anymore. I’m just having fun looking up all of these things on YouTube and watching/listening to them. All I know is that Sochi, Russia 2014 can’t come soon enough!

Also – Anyone want to start planning a trip to the games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016? 🙂

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