Life as a budding Olympian

Curling, as told by a girl armed with a Swiffer for a brush

Opening the door of my dorm, I knew I was about to embark on a fateful journey toward infamy.

The “CAValanche,” as we’ve so charmingly christened it, came at a convenient time this year. Amid the 2014 Winter Olympics, I realized my ultimate dream in life: to be a double Olympic gold medalist in curling and race-walking. If you are not cultured and are thus uninformed about these critical sports, I highly encourage a quick YouTube search.

As you may have already guessed, the onslaught of snow created the perfect training environment for both of my Olympic pursuits. Realizing time is of the essence, I wasted none in my preparation for greatness. As I looked out my sixth floor window and watched the snowflakes gently spiral onto the pavement below, I made a critical decision. I would wait until 4:50 to leave for my 5 p.m. meeting located on the other side of Grounds.

Why, you ask? It was not out of laziness or an irrational avoidance of the cold and snow. I would never. The combination of this self-created time crunch and the snow-slick walkways created the ultimate challenge course for race-walk training.

Opening the door of my dorm, I knew I was about to embark on a fateful journey toward infamy. I felt the adrenaline rush through my body — after all, race-walking is one of the more adventurous activities in my life. I started strong, gaining momentum as I took long strides down the hill and down the steps. I felt my arms pumping in perfect rhythm as I consciously worked on my race-walk form. I cannot afford disqualification simply because one foot wasn’t on the ground at all times. That would be horrendous.

I was feeling pretty good about my prospects — when all of the sudden I felt myself going down.

Now, I’m going to take a moment here to blame this situation on my inadequate footwear. It was absolutely the lack of traction which led to my demise. I could not let this stop me from following my dreams, though. I got up, dusted myself off and pushed through the throbbing pain in my butt. It was a true model of determination and athleticism. I arrived at 5:03.

After my not-so-successful race-walk training, I decided to shift my attention to curling. My primary concern was assembling a team capable of taking me to greatness. I realized the pool of people also interested in curling is extremely large, but unfortunately, I could only take the best of the best into my ranks. With this in mind, I embarked on my hunt for others who shared in my passion for scrubbing ice.

I will admit, this task was much harder than I anticipated. I think people just knew they were not at my level and declined as a means of saving face. After many, many unsuccessful recruitment attempts, I decided to just begin refining my skills solo — at least until the U.S. Curling team contacts me, which was bound to happen any day.

It was then I encountered yet another problem. Apparently, slidable granite stones are hard to come by in college. In an extreme lack of foresight, I forgot to bring my personal collection with me. I also realized my miniature Swiffer duster wasn’t really going to cut it as professional training equipment. Most unfortunate of all, I was confronted by my inability to draw perfect circles.

Left with few alternatives, I began work on my sliding skills. At this point, the sidewalks were dirty, dented with the footprints of those who had walked the paths before me — clearly not the ideal sliding environment. Naturally, I only saw one alternative. I would take my efforts to the street. My friends all watched as I leaped over the 11-inch barrier of snow and into the road — and I glided.

I took to the roads, further developing my highly-coveted gift. Sliding down the pavement, I knew I had found my calling. Already picturing my Olympic curling victory, in that moment, I swear I was infinite.

Then, my moment of bliss was rudely interrupted by a pair of headlights. A car was daring to use the road for its intended purpose. Horrible.

Conceding to my competition, I decided to bring my intensive Olympic training to an end. Based on my experiences, I know glory is inevitable, anyways. And if it doesn’t all work out, I find peace in knowing I can join the Sochi police chorus instead. My destiny awaits.

Sumedha’s column runs biweekly Tuesdays. She can be reached at

Published February 17, 2014 in Life

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