Although many of us have been basking in the reflected glory of our latest local Olympian, Novie McCabe, it’s not often that we regular folks get to experience athletic triumph on such a scale. We therefore rejoice in celebrating those who excel in the Faux-lympics: the game of daily life.
On the podium we salute the following Faux-lympic medalists.
The bronze medal is awarded to the three-person freestyle ice competition trio of Marilyn Bardin, Ann Glidden and Mo Kelly-Akker, whose ice-cavation of a Teddy Bear trapped deep in layers of crusty snow was marred by neither boycott nor scandal. The struggle was real as Mo wrestled to liberate the imprisoned bear without ripping his limbs off. Encouraged by the “be free!” chants of her teammates, Mo reached into her pocket and pulled out a folding knife, which she used to chisel the bear’s legs loose, making history as the first women to nail a flawless switchblade deployment during competition.
Our silver medalist this year is a member of the Ski to the Sun relay team No. 352, who earned her Faux-lympic hardware by Nordic skiing 10 kilometers on sheer ice at race pace with a baby strapped to her front. As a member of the Abominable Slowmen relay team, the skier clearly had no expectation of a podium finish but through sheer grit and that under-rated ability moms have to absolutely crush it, she emerged triumphant at the end of her relay leg with the baby still sleeping soundly, which, as any parent will tell you, is as good as gold.
As good as gold, but not gold. That honor goes to Peter Goldman, who competed last-minute as an alternate in the solo dead lift event. While walking his two dogs, Wallis and Otter, along Gunn Ranch Road before dawn last week, Peter noticed that the two sani-cans installed at the Gunn Ranch Trailhead had been blown over in the night and were lying on their backs.
With none of the other dead lift competitors in sight and the clock ticking, Peter knew he needed to answer the call of duty so that others could answer the call of nature. With neither a warm-up nor a team uniform, Peter single-handedly “righted the ships,” says his wife, Martha Kongsgaard. Strength, strategy and service to others — the hallmarks of a true Faux-lympic champion.
I had my own Faux-lympic experience the other day. It was the end of a long work day and I still needed to go grocery shopping. Not just a minor shopping, but a big one, with a list that included items we rarely run out of and thus I can never remember where to find them in the store, like corn starch and wheat germ. As I got into my car, I had almost talked myself into postponing the shopping trip until the next day. I wasn’t just feeling uninspired, I was feeling downright dopey, and not in that Olympic performance-enhancing way.
But when I turned the key in the ignition the radio came on and the opening bars of the Star Wars theme song filled the car. I tell you, if you ever want to get a sudden burst of energy to carry out a feat of which you consider yourself incapable, just play that theme song and it will fire you right up. (Either that, or Fanfare for the Common Man, which is — incredibly — what happened to be playing when I got back in the car after shopping, like a podium anthem just for me.) I earned no medals, but when I got home and restocked the fridge my small but loyal fan base cheered, and I felt, for one shining moment, that I had won.