I don't remember anyone ever cheering for me. Granted, I just competed in swimming. My mom had convinced, small salary in hand, her youngest brother, the uncle I miss so much today, to be our "swim-uncle" for the summers. He drove my cousins, siblings and I to practice very early in the mornings and had to find the scattered locations of our swim meets in Salt Lake City. I do remember the music he played in the car, the teasing, but no cheering, even when we earned pretty bright ribbons.
But I am a natural cheerleader. Just watch me watch a soccer match, a tennis match! I have cheered my favorite French teams (soccer and swimming) and my Swiss tennis player with notorious fervor.
My parents watched the recent Rugby 7, in Dubai because they were following my cousin Cyrus Homayoun's progress in the UAE team. "Who is that?" They mumbled in embarrassment as they saw their very own daughter, wasting her Warholian minutes of fame, on live tv, cheering and jumping like an expert cheerleader with her aunts! Very proud of my cousin, I am!
And I woke up at dawn to take my son to his swim meet today, with his dad, who was bemused at how long these events really are. He swam four different races and it took no less than four hours for us to wait. No sooner than my son's turn would come that I would rush across the other side of the pool, make eye contact with him, with large waves and cheer, encourage, prep talk him, tell him to push all he can, to swim for his life. Perhaps it distracts him, perhaps he barely hears me, but he knows I am there, he knows I care, he knows I am proud!