My Olympic History

Alumni Geoff Kronik’s (fiction, ’12) piece appears in the 2012 “Howlympics” column at HowlRound: A Journal of the Theater Commons.

My Olympic History

It was 1968, and in the underoxygenated heights of Mexico City, sprinters rocketed, marathoners gasped, Bob Beamon soared, and Fosbury flopped. At six years old, watching my first Olympics on my parents’ black-and-white televison, I was as captivated by athletics as I was ignorant of political gestures like the famous black power salute. I was also ignorant of the Games’ quadrennial calendar: my father traumatized me with news of a mandatory wait until 1972, which seemed as distant to me as 1984 did in Orwell’s time.

When the Munich games finally arrived, ignorance of political action was no longer possible. I saw the grainy death-mask photo that has become the face of that Olympiad, and I heard Jim McKay’s elegiac reporting that so contrasts with the shrillness of news today. 1972’s ten-year-old was less assaulted by media than today’s kids are, and I thus had a better chance of intact innocence, but I understood something of timeless horror had occurred. And yet, at an impressionable age, I did not conflate the Games with evil...[Keep Reading]…

 

 

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