Monday, October 31, 2011

Owens or Nurmi?

As a little boy (not that many years ago, thank you very much), I spent most of my summer-and-other-short holidays at my grandparents' place. I'm not going to develop any nostalgic stories of my childhood featuring me getting lost in the near forest or having one of my first cigarettes (at the venerable age of 6), but instead I find it quite intriguing to remember a few peculiar details from that time.

Well, in every house like that there are some old shabby books lingering around, with pages torn or undone and fixed back with sellotape, every single female face in the books having a moustache duly drawn with a dark blue pen, despite the constant-but-never-kept promise of my grandma that she'd tell on me to mom. You know, the works.

What I still recall from the floating library is in fact a sports magazine from the late 70s, which was not only yesterday papers telling yesterday's news, but it didn't say anything to me, anything at all, as I was too little to have known any of the sports(wo)men in the magazine. And then, a big title caught my eye at once: "Who was the better one: Owens or Nurmi?". Needless to say, I knew nothing, nought, zero, zilch about the two and what I then got from the article was that they had been athletes from time immemorial.

Why I still remember this, and have remembered it always, it's a mystery to me, since back then I had just started to read. Could it be because they were the very first athletes names I'd ever heard of and we never forget the first ones? :)

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