Saturday, January 11, 2014

Soiree Olympique

My first few Olympic viewing experiences -- for Montreal 1976, Lake Placed 1980, Sarajevo and Los Angeles 1984 -- felt like a party.

As a toddler, seven year old, and fifth grader, respectively, watching the Games on ABC Sports meant extra TV time and the rare "up past eight" opportunity.

During and after the LA84 opening ceremony, when every kid in the neighborhood went home to watch with family, I naively assumed that everyone in the world dropped everything to view the Olympics.

It wasn't until 1996, when my sister and I viewed the start of the Centennial Games ceremony on a small screen in a suburban Atlanta Chinese restaurant (we were both staying at apartments sans TV access), that it sunk in not everyone cared to watch.

Now I get it -- I may be in the minority on tuning in (LOL).

But some friends DO religiously watch the Opening Ceremonies and competitions. And today via Facebook I spotted an Olympic viewing party invitation from some five-ring fan acquaintances in Janesville, Wisconsin. Bravo! An Olympic Party, Sochi-style!

Perhaps everyone should drink a shot when NBC Olympic commentators utter dramarama terms such as "Olympic security" or "protest zone" and "figure skating controversy."

I'd like to know -- who out there in Blog Reader Land is going to attend or host a Sochi Olympic party? What are you including in your Soiree Olympique to make it authentic? Special Russian recipes and décor, or planning a fondue service with a mini-Olympic cauldron?

After the 1996 work experience, at an auction I purchased an Olympic cooler and official Coca-Cola picnic table and umbrella in anticipation of hosting a Games gathering. Later these items turned into great Ebay sales to fund travel to Sydney 2000, so I never did host an Olympic party. Please share your memories of torch-inclusive gatherings.

Meanwhile, one time I did attend a Golden Globes viewing party (and also attended several client GRAMMY viewing parties in Atlanta). Turns out in tandem with this weekend's Golden Globe Awards broadcast on NBC there will be a "Gold Meets Golden" party featuring many notable summer and winter Olympians and stars of the silver and small screen. According to a press release sent to this blogger, numerous luminaries may attend.

The second-annual NBC/Universal Golden Globes party includes Hollywood hosts Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Ryan Kavanaugh, Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Sofia Vergara, Adrien Brody, Chelsea Handler, Kerry Washington, Owen Wilson and Hayden Panettiere, who is engaged to Atlanta Olympic gold medalist Wladimir Klitschko.

Atlanta Olympic Village visitor Arnold Schwarzenegger will host a table for winter and summer athletes to attend the Globe Awards ceremony.

The celebrities will join scheduled-to -ttend Olympians including gymnasts Mary Lou RettonNadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Gabby Douglas, Carly PattersonNastia Liukin and Jake Dalton; figure skater Sasha Cohen; speed skaters Apolo Anton Ohno, Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen;  athletics greats Bruce Jenner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Alyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Will Claye and DeeDee Trotter; diver Greg Louganis; swimmers  Nathan Adrian, Rebecca Soni, Eric Shanteau, John NaberJessica Hardy and Summer Sanders; water polo player Tony Azevedo; freeskier Nick Goepper; fencer Tim Morehouse; beach volleyball players Kerri Walsh Jennings, Misty May Treanor, April Ross and Jen Kessy; original Dream Team basketball player Magic Johnson, and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow (recently announced as members of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Delegation for the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games) will also participate.

An Olympic auction is set to launch at the event, with items available for online bidding including VIP tickets to exclusive parties to celebrate the Sochi Games with Olympic legends at Team USA Clubs in Los Angeles (Feb. 7) and Vail, Colo. (Feb. 15), official Team USA apparel, and a Cola-Cola snowboard to be signed by Gold Meets Golden party attendees. The auction launches Jan. 12 and continues this month via CharityBuzz.com/USOC.
I will probably do a party dance when my visa application for Russia Federation is finally processed -- getting anxious for "official" access to Sochi to arrive by mail. Why must this take so many days?

Images via Rich Fletcher and CW3PR

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