Ah, yes the Olympics. An exuberant amount of people gather to watch top athletes of each country compete against each other in search of the coveted gold medal. Its beginnings from Ancient Greece but now its home is decided by committee and it travels to whoever is chosen to host it. To some the Olympics is about competition and is a reminder of who is the best runner, swimmer, or even the best ping pong player. To me, the Olympics is about a reminder of my early childhood.
Years ago, back when I was a lot younger, and a lot shorter, I used to go with my parents and grandparents on vacations to Canada. We would rent a cabin by a lake for a week and spend the whole week fishing. It was the highlight of my year and I was so excited every time it got close to the middle of the year again. Obviously we did more than just fishing, we would visit places and buy milk from a bag, the normal things you do on vacation. But one of my memories that has always stuck with me, and it seems like it could be insignificant but it means so much to me. I remember sitting on my grandfather’s lap. We were watching the Summer Olympics one day, and we were eating cheese curds as we looked across the room at the old tube tv and just enjoyed the moment, relaxing.
I know that sounds so insignificant, but here’s the thing: my grandfather was one of my biggest influences, especially at a young age. He passed away when I was 15, and I’ve been trying to hang on to every memory of him that I could since then. He was a hard worker, a plumber and contractor. Before that he drove gas trucks and would refill fuel tanks for stoves. He was busy a lot, especially when I was young, so any memory that old that I still remember has a huge value to me. I feel like that’s what matters.
Obviously, this year is the Winter Olympics, and we see a lot of different events like bobsled, ski jump, snowboarding, and curling. My one friend watches the Winter Olympics a little closer than I do, but he mentioned a name that I easily recognized: Shaun White. This Olympics is his last, and it’s sort of bittersweet to see that happening. He’s been in every single Winter Olympics that him and I could remember, and my friend jokingly told me that he feels like “his childhood is ending” because of it. Shaun was one of the people that got a lot of us into snowboarding and winter sports. I can only hope Shaun enjoys retirement.
With as many memories and cultures as the Olympics holds for people in general, not just me, I think it is a wonderful thing that Metz is doing Red White and Taste. It is foods from around the world inspired by the Olympics, trying to bring some of the culture to us. I feel like culture is one of the best things about the Olympics, so why not bring some to the table? When you think about the Olympics, if you aren’t thinking about the sport you’re thinking about the people. I think of Ancient Greece when I’m not reminiscing, and Greece’s wonderful gyros. Some might think of Italy and pasta, or Russia and borscht. And what does food directly connect to? The answer is culture.
What I’m trying to say is food=culture=Olympics=memories. Everybody remembers something from the Olympics, and I feel that sharing food, in the long run, is sharing memories. Memories can be the most important thing to us, so share a plate and share some culture!