Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biden + Palin @ Olympic Site!

Tonight's great debate of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is now history. I've been channel and Web surfing during the mix of facts and drivel dished out by both candidates, but so far have found no mention of the debate's strong connection to the Olympic Movement (this report is the closest located so far).

The Vice Presidential Debate venue on the campus of Washington University at St. Louis is in the athletic complex -- the David R. Francis Gymnasium -- shown in the photo with this post. That building was the site of two major Olympic events: First, the 1904 Summer Olympic Games of St. Louis (the athletic building is just east of what remains of the St. Louis Olympic Stadium), and second, the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival.

The Olympic Village for the Festival in the summer of '94 was also close by -- further west.

Though I missed the Clinton:Bush debates of 1992, and other big political events on campus before and since, my Olympic career did have a three-month stop at the Festival working in that St. Louis Festival Olympic Village.

BEST ... SUMMER ... EVER! Oh, the memories!

One memory for tonight: During a post-Festival job (to sustain my finances while remaining in the city for a few extra summer weeks) I worked in the LAUNDRY ROOM of the David R. Francis Gymnasium. Yes, I was "that guy" throwing football uniforms and such into industrial-size washing machines for two glamorous weeks. On breaks I would walk the halls reading up the building's history including candidate Clinton's big moments on campus.

Steps away from the Francis Gym building, also got my first "Olympic stadium smooch" under the gate that commemorates the 1904 Games (14 years later ... still waiting to be in another Olympic Stadium AND with the right woman for the next Olympic stadium smooch -- unfortunately I was traveling solo or single during 1994 to 208 travels to the Olympic stadiums in Los Angeles, Lake Placid, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Torino and Beijing).

But bringing this back to the debate: I would bet money that neither veep candidate noticed their opportunity to mention an Olympic connection (disclaimer: I did not catch the entire debate, so maybe they did). It might also be a safe bet that one of the candidates didn't know much of what she was talking about in general.

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