Oh yeah, and there was this other group, a motley crew in strangely colored clothing, all malachite green and mustard yellow and a dash of hot magenta.
I know because I was one of them.
It was August 2, 1984, the sixth day of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad in Los Angeles. The day would bring medal winners from five finals through that simmering tent. I sat nearby, garbed in the aforementioned garish uniform, recording and transcribing one of the medalists' remarks. Later, I would type up the Q&A and fax it to the Main Press Center at the LA Convention Center two miles away. Those quotes would wind up in newspapers and magazines, on TV and radio across the globe.
Thus was my first professional experience following college: a journey west with a friend to serve for three weeks in Press Operations at the Olympic Games. We aspired to track and field; we ended up at the swim venue, our second choice.
It struck me earlier this week that those Games happened 35 years ago. I shake my head to think of all those years gone by, of the wiry kid I was, of a lifetime in the windshield before me then, now most of it in the rearview mirror.
What do I feel? Mostly gratitude for the road traveled. And still a bit of that young man's anticipation of the journey remaining.
I wrote of my Olympic experience before, in a series of blogs posted for the 30th anniversary in 2014. I invite you to share in those adventures--quirky, frightening, exasperating, always memorable, and just plain fun--at these links:
Part 1: 'Badges? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges'
Part 2: 'You! You, I No Love!'
Part 3: Gold Medals and Teddy Bears
Part 4: That Time I Accidentally Propositioned an Olympic Champion
Part 5: The Faux-pening Ceremonies and Final Thoughts