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“I was in the men’s singles for figure skating,” recalls Mark Cockerell. “If you go to YouTube and type in my name, you can see my Olympic program,” he wrote this week as Olympicmania swept the country.
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Mark Cockerell (back row, seventh from the left) standing with the 1984 Olympic and World Team.
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Cockerell on ice, during a competitive performance
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Cockerell on ice, after a competitive performance
Cuddy Valley and Frazier Park were the locations NBC-TV chose in January to film ads to promote the Olympics. Now the international winter games are becoming a smashing success. We wondered what it is like for the Mountain Communities’ own Mark Cockerell to watch the Olympic competitions this year. We asked the Pine Mountain Realtor, who is likely the only Olympic athlete who lives here, if he’d like to share his thoughts. This is his reply.
I would love to share my thoughts. It’s funny but I always feel like I have more energy when the Olympics are going on.
As I watch, I have a lot of thoughts about my winter games in Sarajevo in 1984.
Memories of how it was the one and only competition I felt no nerves at all. I knew I was not going to medal and my ultimate dream was to just be on the team.
I actually missed some practices so I could see other events. I remember being yelled at by our team leader and my reaction was, ‘I earned the right to be here and I will never be here again, so I’m going to see everything I can.’ I also said ‘don’t worry I won’t let anyone down.’
There is something very special about having ‘USA’ on everything you wear. I even had it on my freestyle costume. I was never one to have beads or sparkles, but I loved the American flag on my sleeve.
I have enjoyed these 2010 Olympics very much. My only two disappointments are how late they are shown and when you see an athlete who is bitter about the results. It appears they do not realize that you are taking away from the person who won. No matter how much you disagree with the outcome, it is the champion’s time to shine.
After all these years there are still a bunch of athletes I know and of course the commentators are all old friends. I was always great friends with the guys I competed with. Most of us all trained together and we all still talk on Facebook.
Sometimes I sit down and think about that time in my life and realize that for two weeks of my life I was one of the best athletes in the world. I still wear my ring every day.
Mark Cockerell, 1984 U.S. Olympic Team
Go to YouTube and type in his name to see Cockerell’s Olympic program.
This is part of the February 26, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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