Olympics And Giveaways:
The Olympic Games start on Friday in the United Kingdom. The UK needs a break after the rainiest summer on record and their tennis hero, Andy Murray, losing in the Wimbledon Finals.
I hope these are great Games with no excitement except on the athletic fields, where it’s OK to be exciting.
The Summer Olympics always brings back memories-I can hear the NBC Olympic theme song in my brain.
McDonald’s and the Olympics
One of my fond Olympic memories occurred in the summer of 1976- I was in college.
We were on the quarter system back then, and being a biology/premed major I had to take classes that had labs attached.
Labs meant your classes took twice as long, but you didn’t get extra credit hours. I’m sure universities have since smartened up, and now make you pay extra for those labs…
With shortened summer quarters and labs thrown in, I had class from 8:00 till 2:00 every week day. I had a meal plan for food, and minimal extra spending money. Of course the cafeteria was closed by 2:00, so no lunch for Dean the scientist…meal plan, speal plan…
This is pre microwave in the dorm times, so I really was stuck trying to figure out how I was going to eat. I didn’t miss meals, no way, no how!
McDonald’s came to my rescue….in two ways. They had just opened their first restaurant in this town, so I was eating a quarter-pounder almost daily-they could set their clock: at 2:15 I was in line. They were amazingly cheap back in the dark ages…
Before I ran out of spending money, the Olympics began.
And McDonald’s, thank goodness, started their ‘scratch off’ games:
- USA win’s a gold medal win a Big Mac,
- USA win’s a silver medal-win a order of fries,
- USA win’s a bronze medal-win a small coke.
Luckily one of my dorm mates worked at McD’s. If he was working behind the counter when we went in, he would throw in extra scratch off tickets to his buddies. Instead of one ticket in my bag of quarter pounder and fries, I’d find four or five.
At the time I thought nothing of it, thinking it was a great promotion. Of course, buying my late lunch there, I was accumulating many of these tickets all on my own.
Now that I’m grown, I’m wondering, was he supposed to be “giving away” all those extra scratch offs?
In the dorm we were glued to the tube seeing who won some obscure event, if we had a scratch off with that event, we cared, even if it was basket weaving…
Luckily for starving me, I got enough scratch-offs to eat my weight in burgers, fries, and coke during those two weeks. I had so many free meal tickets, my friends and I ate dinner there too!
You might think I gained weight, but nope.
I guess my metabolism was better back then, ’cause I probably weighed 165 when I graduated the next summer. At six foot two, that’s beanpole personified…
Take that Mayor Bloomberg!
Atlanta Olympics: 1996
Another of my Summer Olympic memories occurred in 1996 when I was able to attend several events live in Atlanta with my wife and kids.
We watched basketball at the Georgia dome, at least I think it was basketball.
I’m searching for words to describe what could be higher than the “nose bleed” section? I don’t know the word, but we were there-I think it would rival Kilimanjaro, if not Everest. Our seats were so high and far away from the basketball action it was like watching ants throw grains of sand. It’s very hard to follow a game that far from the action.
We also watched several track events at the new Turner Stadium in Atlanta-got to see Carl Lewis in the long jump . The kids loved walking through the dancing water fountains at Olympic Park and trading Olympic pins.
Little did we know, a bomb would go off in the area just a couple of days after we left town. Fortunately, my call schedule had us back home when the tragedy occurred. I get chills thinking about us walking with my two kids and Cil, hand in hand, having an amazing time in an area that a few days later was the sight of a horrific crime.
Makes you appreciate life.
Hope you enjoy the games,and if you listen you should hear a chant all the way from south Georgia:
USA! USA! USA!
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