To be clear, no one on the We Write Things writing “staff” is really a true athlete, never mind an Olympic-caliber athlete. But we know how we’d want our experience to go if we got the nod or won the race that qualified us to go to the big show.
What would your gymnastics floor routine song be?
AM: I can think of no greater artist than Kesha for this one. Perhaps “We R Who We R” as a cheeky anti-establishment nod? And also because if I was a gymnast I’d be a superstar!
BW: For many years my answer to this question was the Ike and Tina version of “Proud Mary.” Just picture it, you dance on back into the corners to set up tumbling runs on the “do-do-do-dos.” Totally brill. But in the year 2010 everything changed. Katy Perry released “Firework,” and a new vision was born. I would time my most impressive elements to sync up with the “Boom. Boom. Boom.” Natch. And the crowd would go wild. USAUSAUSAUSA.
ND: Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” is calling to me. You can’t not dance to it by yourself with millions watching.
JB: I think I’d go entirely old school and break out M.A.R.S’s “Pump up the Volume.” It’s super catchy and feels like the late 80s, personified.
SR: I’ll go with the low-hanging fruit and pick “Ave Maria” by Schubert. The routine I’d pull off would make even a Mary of Nazareth statue cry tears of joy. I mean, who wouldn’t be mesmerized by the slow-paced piano and high-pitched singing?
Which distance and stroke would your swimming event be?
AM: 200 meter breaststroke. This is the only question to which I have an actual answer as I was a competitive swimmer in middle school and the middle distance breaststroke was by far my best event. If anyone picks “butterfly” they’re completely delusional unless they have the upper-body strength of FrankenMountain.
BW: I mean, assuming fantasy me didn’t just go ahead and qualify for all of them? My jam would definitely be the 400 meter individual medley. Variety is the spice of life.
ND: The 100m backstroke would be my best bet, but I’d definitely end up 5 lanes over, crashing into the Italians or something.
JB: Do they allow sidestroke in the Olympics? If not, I’d protest to allow it, because it would be the most casual and leisurely event the whole day, even at 200 meters. I’d want one of those old-school flowered swim caps, like synchronized swimmers wear. We could all discuss the weather and what we think of the queen’s latest hats.
SR: I can drive it about 320 yards and if it was a Par 5, I would have a real good chance of getting an eagle or birdie putt. No way I don’t par that hole.
Can you name the 10 events in the decathlon?
AM: Running and jumping and perhaps pole vault? Do any of these count as a real answer? Am I even in the realm of the right answer? No?
BW: Okay, let’s see. Discus, pole vault, javelin throw, shot put, long jump, lots of running, like with hurdles and maybe a steeplechase or something? So basically, everything they do in the Hunger Games, but less lethal.
ND: If I remember field day correctly, there’s a few running races to start. Then it’s long jump, high jump, shot put, shoe kick, and my personal favorite, the water balloon toss.
JB: I can, actually! 100m run, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, 400m run, and then on the second half they do 100m hurdles, the long jump, high jump, shot put and 1500m run. BOOM! NAILED IT!
SR: Hmmmmm, let’s see: 100m run, beer pong, cheese grating, The Hunger Games, lawn mowing, flipping a coin, Easter egg hunt, the countdown to New Year’s, and quidditch.
Who would design your Opening Ceremony uniforms?
AM: Christian Siriano, but of course! His gowns are especially fabulous, but what I’d really love is to have my Opening Ceremony outfit be inspired by his colorfully amazing home design.
BW: Jenny Beavan, aka the costume designer behind Mad Max: Fury Road. If I make it to the Olympics, I need someone in my corner who can make me look not just fierce, but Furiosa.
ND: Zac Posen a la Claire Danes’ light-up dress at the 2016 Met Gala.
JB: Vera Wang. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I worked bridal and she was always the epitome of elegance. I’d walk in and people would be like “That dress is classy AF.” And they’d be right.
SR: My Opening Ceremony uniforms would have to be designed by Stevie Wonder and Christopher Nolan. Tell me those outfits wouldn’t blow your mind. Tell me right now. It’s “Superstition” meets Inception. If sex could be a piece of clothing, I’m pretty sure whatever Wonder and Nolan made would be it.
Who would be on your track relay team?
AM: The ladies of the Ghostbusters. Maybe not the fastest runners, but they’re creative and quirky and we’d have ourselves some fun training, that’s for sure.
BW: Buffy Summers and Rey, for obvious reasons. Phoebe Buffay, because she runs like a nut, and I like to have fun.
ND: Cersei Lannister to instill fear into our opponents. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to help lighten up practice.
JB: Ellen Ripley, Lara Croft, and Ginny; we play to win. Wait, do these have to be real people? I’m not sure I understood the assignment.
SR: The guy from American Sniper just in case one of the other teams gets too far ahead, Conan O’Brien because he’s 10 stories tall and we’d never lose track of him, and last but not least, a speeding bullet. #cannotbestopped
What color and/or pattern would your leotard be (Other than red/white/blue):
AM: Green and sparkly. Not unlike a mermaid.
BW: Deep purple and sparkly, with some rad, black elbow patches for a bit of … I don’t know what.
ND: Purple plaid. Sparkles are a must.
JB: Black and sparkly. Just so the judges would have to, at some point, wonder how much blacker my leotard can be, and the answer would be none, none more black.
Which deity do you pray to before you start your event?
AM: Thor. Definitely Thor.
BW: Minerva if I was looking for grace and prowess. Sekhmet if I wanted people to walk in the garden of my turbulence.
ND: The Old Gods.
JB: Pelor. I’d walk onto the event stage, throw my hands in the air and say “Praise the sun.”
SR: Les Grossman.
You’ve stuck the landing. You’ve set a world record. What does the commentator say about you?
AM: “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES??!!”
BW: “If it’s lonely at the top, she doesn’t look mad about it.”
ND: “No one could have predicted the upset we just witnessed tonight.”
JB: “Great Odin’s raven! I have never, in all my years, seen anything as amazing as this.”
SR: “See? It is good luck to flip off the judges before beginning your routine!”
What does your NBC human interest story key in on?
AM: They 100% would ask me about the shark thing. “Annemarie, why do you have a lot of shark decor and shark stuffed animals and especially why do you have an inflated mountable shark head under your desk at work?” They’d likely make a comparison between my fierce competitive spirit and the fierce competitive spirit of sharks.
BW: I think they would go for the underdog angle. “From high school yearbook editor to people’s champion. The nerd who inspired America.”
ND: It would chronicle the serious, destructive nature of board games and how it alienated my loved ones until I learned to channel the aggression from all those games of Parcheesi into the sports arena.
JB: How we host regular D&D events at our house. They’d wonder how a person who is clearly one of the best athletes in the world makes time for D&D on a weekly basis. I’d then expertly turn the interview onto the interviewer, asking what class they’d most like to play and whether or not they think our “three-nat-20” rule would be legal, in Olympics terms.
SR: Here’s how it would go. Jim: “So many people doubted him for so many years, but all of the tireless late nights and early mornings of going around to different neighborhoods and hitting off side view mirrors with a baseball bat really paid off.”
*montage slow-mo video of me with a crazy look destroying side view mirrors*
Jim: “Look at the power and determination in those swings. Those mirrors didn’t stand a chance, Phil.”
Phil: “You know Jim, I think I can hear the shards of glass crying out for help from here.”
Jim: “This is what the 2016 Rio Olympics are all about. Could this be the year he finally wins the gold?”
*regular speed video, me hitting a mirror off a door, hits small child staring at his phone in the face*
Fade to black with the text: “Sponsored by Old Spice.”
Who will play you in the inevitable movie adaptation of your life as an Olympic champion?
AM: Amy Schumer. Unlikely athlete and a semi-natural blonde. It’s perfect.
BW: Mae Whitman. She’s totally rad and I choose to believe we would have the best time bonding while she researched the role.
ND: Brie Larson. She could make the unbelievable totally believable.
JB: Anna Kendrick. She’s a good actress, funny, and can summon my spirit animal, Pun Husky.
SR: Sacha Baron Cohen.