Trying out some archery to get to the point of the Olympics (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

My friend Nate asked the question, as we demolished the Olympic rings of cheese my husband Joel and I had created for the opening ceremonies in London: If you could take your natural abilities and amplify them, which of the Olympic games would be your event?

I knew mine right away: Curling, if we’re talking about the winter games. Shooting, either archery or skeet shooting, if summer. (In the days since, the BBC has created the incredibly fun “Your Olympic athlete body match” app, which concluded I actually am built like a German cyclist.)

That’s because, for someone who isn’t much into sports, I get a little caught up in the Olympic spirit. These are sports that look fun to me.

When I was a senior in college at New York University, I freelanced for the “Imus in the Morning” show on MSNBC while its production assistant was at the winter games in Torino. After watching hours and hours of curling during those games — since that’s what was on MSNBC during “Imus in the Morning” — I signed up for a “Learn to Curl” event at the Ardsley Curling Club in Ardsley-on-Hudson, N.Y. Then I joined the club, and later, the Chicago Curling Club.

Then Don Imus told me, “Emily, you are a fine young American, and I hope to see you in the Olympics someday.” This remains the greatest compliment I ever have received.

After graduation, my friends surprised me with a trip to Dave’s Pizza in Bemidji, Minn. The owner, Pete Fenson, was the “skip,” or team captain, of the men’s curling team — the first U.S. curling team to medal in the Olympics (it took the silver).

This past weekend, it was the men’s archery team with the silver, the first medal for the U.S. in the London games. And after writing an article last month for The Courier-News about archery’s pop culture moment — not just in the Olympics but also in summer blockbusters “The Hunger Games” and “Brave” — I decided this Olympics, this was my sport.

For the rest of the story, read Trying out some archery to get to the point of the Olympics (Sun-Times Media).

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