If you do not know my sister Nicole let me explain her this way. She is determined, creative and loves to celebrate her birthday. It is the amalgamation of these things that brought me back to Michigan this past weekend.
You see my sister's birthday was the night of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic games. And this year instead of a month of birthday activities (what I call Nicole's Ramadan birthday - because it lasts 30 days), she opted of a one day event in honor of the games. That is how the inaugural Winter Olym-nics came to be. (The name was thought of by her equally determined and creative husband.)
It took place at my parents house on Lake Oneida.
As you can see from the photo above (and below) a lot of effort was put into these games by my family. There was a judges table (complete with scorecards and judges' jerseys), a luge, medals, a hockey/figure skating rink, medals podium and curling lane.
Yes, tea kettles were our curling stones.
Before the games even began though, we had a proper opening ceremony, complete with a parade of nations and lighting of the torch. I was the representative of Japan and sported the Kimono my sister had just brought back for me from her trip to Japan. My nephew Jared also played the Star Spangled Banner on his sax.
Once that was over, the games began! There were six events in all. The first was the biathlon (what I believe to be the winter games' strangest sport).
No we didn't have real guns and the skis gave out after the first round of competitors. But that didn't stop us. My sister and I, for our turn, took off on a foot race, worthy of a photo finish.
In case you were wondering, Mike and I won. He's a really good shot.
Hockey was equally competitive. Two good teams took the ice, with my dad serving as ref.
It goes without saying though, that the highlight of that day's events were the pairs figure skating. Sadly, none of the skates fit Mike. So my friend Dorrie's husband Nick and I took to the ice with a routine that was planned in the five minutes before it began. It was took Blister in the Sun and it rocked. We took silver.
Here are the highlights. Our performance was heavy on the arm movements, light on footwork.
We were no match for the gold medalists though. My sister and brother-in-law invested in costumes. And their routine ended with a through the legs manuver, shown here.
The days events ended fittingly with a medals ceremony. (Pairs figure skaters winners below)
And an impressive fireworks show in which Mike almost lost an appendage (not shown below).
It was an awesome inaugural event to say the least. I honestly can't wait for next year. And the day's events certainly made me appreciate my sister and her determine, creative spirit even more. Happy (belated) Birthday Nicole! I award you a gold medal for the best sister ever.