I'm a self-professed Olympic Games junkie

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By The Staff

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming!

Actually, they've already arrived and the world has taken notice. For the 29th games, the Olympics are taking place in Beijing, China. The city is 12 hours ahead of Bardstown so most of what we see will have already taken place. But the excitement is still there, regardless of the time difference.

On Friday morning, I heard a report of the opening ceremonies. They weren't scheduled to be aired on American television until 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. It was surreal to think the games had already begun and I was at work still waiting for the opening ceremonies.

I'm not sure about the rest of the world but I'm looking forward to the Games. I've waited for the Summer Olympics to start ever since the last ones ended in 2004. Call me a junkie, but I can't get enough of the Olympics. I cheer for Team USA in every sport I watch and I watch as many as I can.

During the Olympics I suddenly become a fan of wrestling, power lifting and soccer sports I would never watch if Olympic pride wasn't on the line. I want USA to be the best, win the most gold medals, set the most records and show the most pride. It almost becomes an obsession for me.

I know I shouldn't go so overboard with the Olympics. It's not like I have been on an Olympic fast for four years. The Winter Olympics came along two years ago and subsided some of my appetite. But, for me, there's nothing quite like the Summer Olympics to get the competitive juices flowing.

Gymnastics is my favorite Summer Olympic Game. Although the Olympic games last for more than two weeks, it didn't take long for gymnastics to take center stage. The men's qualifiers began Saturday. But with the Hamm brothers out of this year's Olympics, I am a little unfamiliar with the players. I'll watch the team the same, hoping they make every move they're supposed to and stick all their landings.

The women's competition gets started today with qualifying rounds. I'm not too familiar with the members of the women's team. But the same Shawn Johnson keeps popping up so I'm sure she'll be one to watch.

But that's the beauty of the Olympics, you don't have to be a fan of the sport or the athlete to enjoy the Games. You just have to be a fan of the spirit of the Olympic Games and I most certainly am.

I'll watch it all from gymnastics to diving, cycling, basketball, table tennis, track and field, volleyball, swimming and whatever else happens to be on. I'm a true junkie. I'll even keep a close eye on the medal count to see how USA stacks up against the rest of the world. As a country, we usually fare better at the Winter Olympics, but my hopes are always high for the Summer Olympics as well. In some sports we soar, in others we don't shine as much.

But no matter, I'll cheer for Team USA and hope we do the best we can. It's great to see an athlete achieve a dream. It's worse to see them defeat themselves. The Games are full of both moments and the unpredictability of the Games is what makes them such a thrill to watch.

As the Games get started, I'll be watching, cheering, hoping for Team USA to come out on top. I am a true junkie.

- Lisa Tolliver is editor of the Kentucky Standard. Contact her at ltolliver@kystandard.com.