# The Truth About the Olympics

## Dear Kid,

Well, it’s official. Usain Bolt is faster than you are.

He’s also taller. And has his own pose.

Simone Biles is bouncier than you.

She’s also shorter. And her eye makeup is more sparkly.

Ryan Lochte is cooler than you. His response to being held up at gunpoint in Rio was (and I quote) “whatever”.

The American women play volleyball better than you do. Other American women play soccer better than you. Or maybe they don’t.

There are a bunch of people who fence better than you do (but not better than Inigo Montoya).

There are people in Brazil who have cried more than you over the last several days and people who have screamed more than you (mostly fans).

There are athletes who lift far more than two of you. And Michael Phelps is going to have to start lifting heavier weights to be able to carry around all his medals.

I love watching familiar and less familiar sports.

I miss sleep, but I love the Olympics.

Go USA!

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# Nadia and July 18 | New Math Equals 10

## Dear Kid,

Where were you in 1976? Don’t answer that. The point is that you weren’t watching the Montreal Olympics.

That summer (what with July 18th being in the summer) Nadia Comăneci broke all the equipment at the gymnastics event. And when I say “broke the equipment” I don’t mean that at all. Nadia (who was 14 at the time) flew around the uneven bars, stuck the landing, and was awarded a 10. The problem was that the scoring equipment didn’t have enough room for four digits (10.00) and so her score was displayed as 1.00. This upset the spectators for several quality seconds until they realized that (in a strange usage of mathematics) 1.00 = 10.00 at which point everyone cheered.

Nadia went on to earn six more tens and capture the all-around, beam, and bars titles (she also got the bronze for floor).

Nadia was the youngest gymnast to win the Olympic all-around. In 1976, you only had to be 14 on the first day of the competition (that’s why I didn’t compete—I wasn’t old enough). The current rules say gymnasts have to turn 16 in the calendar year the Olympics are being held, so unless the rules change again, she’s got a lock on that particular record.

Because she was a sensation (the other day I heard someone refer to a stop-smoking program as a “smoking sensation” option—argh!), her face, her performances, and her story were everywhere. One of the pieces of music used for a montage of her on ABC’s Wide World of Sports was renamed (by the composers) “Nadia’s Theme.” Turns out she never performed to Nadia’s Theme, but most people don’t know that because it is so associated with her.

Here’s to making today a “10.”

## Love, Mom

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