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I’ve got an Olympic dream of my own

February 16, 2018 - Andy Flynn
This week: 429 lbs.

Last week: 430 lbs.

Start (Jan. 2): 444 lbs.

Total lost: 15 lbs.

It’s hard not to watch the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on television and the internet and not be inspired, especially in Lake Placid, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

And it’s just the inspiration I need to keep me motivated to get healthy.

I have my own Olympic dream. I want to lose enough weight and get strong enough to cover the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China, as a reporter. Even if the Lake Placid News and our sister newspaper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, do not send me to cover the games, I’m going to cover it for other media outlets in New York and Vermont. I’ll just take a two-week working vacation.

I’ve learned from the past that I need this type of goal to motivate me, to keep me focused on my health when the times get tough. It worked for the Lake Placid Half Marathon twice, in 2014 and 2015, and I’m sure it will work this time.

Yet I have to be honest. It may not happen. In the end, for whatever reason — goepolitics, finances, unforeseen health issues — I may not make it. But that’s true with any aspiring Olympic athlete; therefore, being an aspiring Olympic reporter is no different. We all face challenges and possible roadblocks.

The way I figure it, I’ve been covering the Adirondack region in one way or another — for newspapers and public radio — for the past 26 years, since graduating from SUNY Fredonia in December 1991. I’ve worked full time as a staff writer and editor for the News/Enterprise for more than 11 years total (two tours of duty), plus another 10 years as a freelance editor and writer for our newspapers, and for North Country Public Radio as an employee or correspondent for 10 years. Add the next four years of experience to both, and it occurs to me that I’m overdue for this kind of assignment.

The Winter Olympics are calling me.

Luckily, Lake Placid is full of Olympic inspiration, whether it’s the 1980 Rink where the U.S. hockey team won the Miracle on Ice game against the Soviet Union; the 1980 cauldron at the North Elba Showgrounds; the 1932 and 1980 Olympic venues; USA Luge and USA Bobsled & Skeleton, who call the Olympic Village home; members of U.S. Biathlon who train here; and the local Olympians and aspiring Olympians who live and train here.

Add to that all the other major international sports events — Ironman triathlons, horse shows, World Cup races, etc. — plus the local sports community, and I feel blessed to be able to live in the Tri-Lakes and train like an Olympian. Only, instead of a sled or a pair of skis, I’ll be honing my storytelling skills with a camera, digital voice recorder and a computer — and getting in shape physically for what I’ve been told is an exhausting yet life-changing assignment.

Well, I guess I’m committed now. My secret Olympic dream is not so secret anymore; it’s on the pages of this newspaper. Time to get to work.

Beijing 2022, here I come.


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