Back in the summer of 1996 I was a 13-year-old kid who liked to play and watch sports. It was the first time that I was old enough to appreciate the Olympics and get into as many events as I could. I don’t remember much about the 1992 Barcelona Olympics beyond watching the Dream Team. Due to the time difference, I have no clue if I ever even watched a live game.
The ’96 Olympics though? Dream Team 2 games were appointment viewing and after that I’d watch everything I could. During the day I’d watch at home or down at our rec center between games of pickup basketball and home run derby. At night I’d watch in the living room with my parents until it got late then I’d go up to my room to watch the final events of the evening while I sat in front of a couple of box fans trying to stay cool. (I grew up in a log cabin without central air.)
At some point, I started watching the gymnastics. That’s when I discovered – and became infatuated with – Dominique Moceanu. She was the cutest thing I had ever seen. It wasn’t just me. My friends also liked her quite a bit. So much so that I don’t think any of us can hear The Devil Went Down to Georgia these days without blushing.
Yesterday someone tweeted that they were being followed by Dominique Moceanu and it all came flooding back to me. So I checked her Twitter and went to her website. Then I noticed the top headline on her website and it made me laugh:
CLEVELAND TOURISM/NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS VIDEO VIGNETTES POSTED
Cleveland Tourism Videos.You’ve got to be kidding me. All these years and we still get each other.
Of course, further Google work then informed me of the horrible truth. She’s married. She has a kid. In fact, Dominique Moceanu is married to a former Ohio State gymnast. Twenty-eight year-old Stephen was very disappointed in 13-year-old Stephen.
This is her on a Cleveland area public access show with her husband. The host starts the show holding a dog. Then she speaks to Dominique and her husband like they’re equals. She was a core member of the Magnificent Seven! Show some respect!
Anyway, the world I knew as a teenager has begun to fall apart. As a kid, I was obsessed with a girl from Cleveland. It never would have worked out. I guess we’ll always have Atlanta.