NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Chase for Glory: Sports and Inspiration




As an action junkie, I love watching sports.  I'm not athletically gifted although I did dabble at swim team and took tennis lessons.  However, I've been a primo spectator all my life.  Playing clarinet in the marching band ensured me ring-side seats at football games.  Being on pep club notched seats at basketball.  I've cheered from the stands at everything from car races to tennis matches.  While professional football was my first love, NASCAR is my soul mate.   

Athletes' training, sacrifice, and determination resonates with me.  The speed, the height, the strength, the control they exercise.   I love watching the good, the bad and the ugly.  So long as the athlete is trying, I'll cheer them on.  I enjoy the rush of the nail-biting suspense as the event reaches its critical climax.  Then comes the emotional see-saw of the low's and high's of defeat and victory.  Naturally, my passion for sports does weave its way throughout my writing.

My heroine Nicole Sterling swam laps to reflect in COURTING DANGER while her great-aunt used skeet shooting to eerie effect.  Carling Dent in COURTING DISASTER was a major fan with memorabilia filling her office and sports terms populated her dialogue.  Boxing trivia figured in one scene in HER DARK PROTECTOR.  However, the biggest thrill as an author was my getting to write a NASCAR novella, CHASING THE TRUTH.  The roar of the engines, the blur of cars as they raced around the track.  Sigh, a gear-head's idea of heaven on earth.  Even as I plot the next book, I've got my eye on skiing for a chase scene.  

However, the big sports enchilada is almost upon us: the Olympics.  I've been an avid fan all my life of both the summer and winter games and will be glued to the television.  There are so many memorable moments over my lifetime.  A few of my favs: Carly Patterson's winning of the all-around gold in gymanstics in 2004 despite having back problems and Kerri Strug's performing the vault with an injured ankle.  Then there was the wire-to-wire gold medal win in 2008 by the US Women's rowing team.  I held my heart in my hand as I screamed them on.

Faster, higher, stronger.  Athletes of the world, inspire me.  Let the games begin. 

What's your favorite Summer Olympics event or moment?

:) Carol Stephenson

Carol Stephenson lives in South Florida with her beloved Shih Tsu Maddie and loves to write compelling, heart-pounding stories. You can learn more about her books or visit her: Website; Facebook; Twitter

18 comments:

Clare London said...

Well, I think I may be one of the few London residents who's looking forward to the Olympics :) though I'll be watching it on the TV rather than battling through Central London traffic, so maybe that's why.

My favourites? I LOVE the gymnastics, the diving, the swimming and the track relays. I've never been sporty myself, but I think it's an event that gives everyone a chance to join in regardless. And it's very exciting it's in my home country this year!

Maureen A. Miller said...

Yeay marching band clarinet players!!! I pretty much eat, live and breathe football. It's off-season and I'm watching the NFL Network (help me!)

I remember sitting on the living room floor with my Dad watching the US Hockey team beat Russia. We had to sit on the floor because the couch was simply too far away from the action. :)

JB Lynn said...

My favorite part of the Olympics is actually the Opening Ceremonies....you can practically feel the pride, hope excitement of everyone there

Basia Rose said...

Favourites?
Gymnastics. Then also diving and stuff like that. Things that take more time and training and grace, and only get a tenth of the glory of the people who run in a straight line for ten seconds!

Toni Anderson said...

I love the Olympics and hope I see some over on the west coast.

My fav memories are Daley Thompson winning the decathlon 1980 and 1984. Last winter games was the hockey when Canada pinched it from USA.

Gosh--Olga Corbett (sp?), Steve Ovette and Seb Coe. And the rowing :) Good times!

Jean Harrington said...

To all you sports junkies, happy watching for the next few weeks. I think I'm missing the I-love-sports gene, but thoroughly enoyed "the chase for glory, sports and inspiration" nonetheless.

Also on the up side, I just figured out who the killer is in my WIP. And I'm giving him/her a sporting chance to get away scot free.

Cheers and best to all at the Olympics and the up-coming Nationals.

Carol Stephenson said...

Clare, commiserations on the traffic nightmare over the next few weeks. I hope you all can relax and enjoy it a bit. London is the only city to have host the Olympics 3 times.

Carol Stephenson said...

Maureen, man, what a game that was. I actually don't remember sitting all that much. I was on my feet screaming.

Carol Stephenson said...

JB, the Opening is about the only chance you get to see most of the competitors. We're having a party to watch the ceremony this year.

Carol Stephenson said...

Basia, gymnastics is my fav too. I can appreciate the sprints simply because of my personal inertia. By the time I even take one step the race would be over for those athletes. :)

Carol Stephenson said...

Toni, that was a great hockey game. :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

I think Maureen is going through some serious NFL withdrawals. LOL I've become more of a fan of football since my husband started a family fantasy football league. That's been lots of fun.

I grew up watching basketball. At 6'2", I never played, though my dad always wished I had. I'm just not the competitive type - at least not when it comes to teammates depending on me - too much pressure! Swimming is more my speed.

As for Olympics, my favorite summer sports are gymnastics and swimming. There was a female swimmer four years ago (can't remember her name) who was near forty, had given birth to her first child within the past couple years, and was so muscular and fit that she truly inspired me.

Carol Stephenson said...

Jean, hee! But I hope the killer's sporting chance is all for naught.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Oh, Carol -- I am *so* not sporty. However, I admit to being inspired by Clara Hughes, an Olympic medalist in speed skating AND cycling. She rocks!

Carol Stephenson said...

Marcelle, I had to google Clara but the moment I saw her photo, I recognized her. An amazing athlete, competing in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Shelley Munro said...

It's hard to pick a favorite since I enjoy all kinds of sport. Anything that New Zealand is competing in works for me.

Wendy Soliman said...

I'm a sport junkie, too, Carol. I'm even getting the hang of American football but I'm afraid baseball defeats me.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Poor Wendy. I'm teaching her to follow the Buccaneers...that's not exactly a good example of American Football. :)

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