Friday, February 26, 2010

Going for Gold

I first realized the Olympics theme when Lee pointed out, as we were descending the steep drop and then immediately ascending in the bowl-shaped alleyway behind Eastlake, that this could be the half-pipe event. (Actually, that’s not quite true: somebody earlier had said that handing over a lit joint while bike-riding away from Westlake counted as a 400-relay passing the baton kind of moment, although that's Summer Games.)

But that’s when I really got into the Olympic spirit, and after that, for the rest of the evening, I couldn’t help noticing the connections everywhere.

Rolling down the switchbacks on Lake Washington Boulevard to the water was like the bobsled run. Getting into a good rhythm farther on down the road reminded me of cross-country skiing. Mixing up Genessee and McLellan and overshooting the more direct route south was my nod to Bode or Lindsey crossing their tips and missing a gate in the giant slalom. Even the back-to-back mechanical stops were able to be construed as our very own version of the biathalon. Or maybe curling.

Joeball had the podium taken care of: bronze monkey cocktails, in a park whose central sculpture filled in for the Olympic flame, then a quick stop by the Silver Cloud Inn, before finishing the night at Goldies.

Clever, huh?

I insisted we augment the runner-up medal by doing shots of silver tequila at the bar; fortunately, nobody proposed we follow that up by pounding Goldshlager.

But the peak Olympic moment for me was when a dozen or so of us lined up for a two-lap relay footrace on the tight path around the Martin Luther King Memorial Park fountain. “On your mark, get set, go!” and a gaggle of Apollo Ohnos were tearing around the short-track, speedskating on bike shoe cleats and jostling for position. And while I didn’t medal, I did, at least, end up vertical and managed, by tapping in my much faster partner, Chase, to not get lapped.

Talk about golden.


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