Today marks the beginning of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and we’ll be watching! But this year my family will also be remembering the Olympics from 40 years ago in Mexico City. In 1968, my older brother was on the United States Olympic Rowing Crew, and it was a thrilling time for my family!
1968 was a tumultuous year, marked by the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and by protests for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. Hey Jude, by the Beatles, was the #1 hit of the year; Yasunari Kawabata received the Nobel Prize for literature; a popular night-out-at-the-movies was to see 2001: A Space Odyssey; and at the end of that year, Apollo 8 successfully orbited the moon. It was a year in which everything changed!
In the midst of all the struggle, strife and change, our family also focused on the experiences of one Olympic athlete and his team. So we look back with a great deal of nostalgia, and know that these athletes now in Beijing are going to have the experience of a lifetime, and this will be a year for them to remember. We wish them all well!
Some interesting things to read about 1968:
- Click here to read an article my brother wrote on his 1968 experience.
- Click here to read about Harry Parker, the coach of the 1968 Olympic crew (still coaching after 46 years!).
- Time Magazine article: “1968 Like a Knife Blade, the Year Severed Past From Future”
- Newsweek article on 1968: “Faces of a Fiery Year”
- Another Newsweek article on 1968: “Portraits of the Past”
Wow! I’m so glad you’ve shared this part of your life. I don’t have an athletic bone in my body, but I’ve always thought how thrilling it would be to be part of the Olympics. Very, very cool.
Thanks, Tara! It was thrilling for the whole family even though we could not afford to make the trip to Mexico City. What an incredible experience!
Wow, that does sound like a thrilling time for you and your family! I’m always glued to the TV during the Olympics–I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a family member to root for. How exciting 🙂
Thanks, Gentle Reader. We’ve been glued to the TV this week, also, and I love watching those families and friends in the stands.