OK, the story continues as we head to London. The London Olympics; a grand time was had by all! And, I'm quite aware that progress in the story is measured by Olympiads. I guess since we started paying attention to the Winter Olympics, this story is really measured in half-Olympiads.
Since Tim's and my wonderful sailing in Australia, I tend to keep track of Olympiads by who is or will be sailing (None of this is new to my faithful readers):
Auggie and Freddie
Goose and Nidal
2012 United Kingdom Perry and Norman (with Greg and Josh in 2nd 49er)
2016 Brazil Greg and Josh (second pair not known yet)
OK, I'm ahead of myself talking about Brazil, but we all knew that Greg and Josh would get their chance. Fred's Sports wouldn't have had it any other way.
The ten-person sailing team assembled in Freeport, in the Bahamas, early in 2009, ready take on all comers for the American slot in the London Olympics and then to medal in Weymouth, which is where the sailing events of the London Olympics would be held. David was in charge of the six-person support crew which included Millie, Gene, Curtis, Flint and Pam. Auggie and Lynn were around quite often, but Auggie limited his involvement to coaching the sailors and a few very private conversations with David. Perry was the lead sailor along with Norman, and Greg and Josh were in the second 49er. You've already read that Greg and Josh took themselves out of the running for the American slot, so it was up to Perry and Norman to win enough races to earn them the American slot. I will have to say it was a squeaker. At first it appeared that Perry and Norman were shoo-ins for the American 49er slot in the London Olympics. However, as the qualification races approached, there were two other American boats seriously competing for the chance to go to Weymouth, and it wasn't until nine months prior to the Olympics, at the final qualifying meeting–held in Weymouth–that the matter was settled. It came down to the final race which, as in the Olympics, counted double. It was settled, but not in the way that Perry would've liked it settled. The Maddie II came in fourth, with one of the other Americans in sixth and another capsized and unable to continue. And, as it turned out, the first three boats, from Australia, Italy, and Denmark, would be competing in the Olympics. Not an auspicious start for a pair that was determined to medal!
Auggie, and many others from the Gang, were present for the qualifying races in Weymouth, and almost everybody was in low spirits, even though the races had awarded the American slot to Perry and Norman. The only exceptions to the gloom and doom scenario were–you guessed it–Auggie, Fred, Tim, Perry and Norman–the eternal optimists. Perry's comment was, "Well, now we know just how much better we have to be in nine months."
Fred said, "I only back winners, and you guys are going to be winners."
Auggie said, "Push it, push it, push it. You weren't pushing as hard as you could today. I know you can push harder, and when you do, you'll win. The only thing that worries me is that you seemed to be slacking off a little because you were ahead of the other Americans and weren't too worried about the foreign boats. Never again, Perry. Never again, Norman. Push it, push it, push it."
Perry and Norman had to admit that they were concentrating on the other Americans and not the foreign boats. Auggie almost screamed, "You always concentrate on the leader. He's the guy you have to beat. Never worry about the guys behind you. Beat the guy in front of you!"
Both Perry and Norman were contrite, and admitted that Auggie was right on all counts. They promised, "Never again," and as far as any race between then and the end of the Olympics they kept their promise. They were seldom beaten in any of the others races leading up to the Olympics, and when the sailing began in Weymouth in July 2012 they, along with the Australians, were the favorites.
But, as you know, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota, Camp White Elk, and the Gang had their eyes on several sports other than sailing.
Why not start with Tim's favorite two sports, aquatics and gymnastics? Chet and Chuck were the hot divers. Tim very much wanted to be able to claim both of them for the university: Chet was a student, and Tim encouraged Chuck to enroll in a graduate program; he entered an MBA program, but arranged to extend the normal two years to four. Of course, he'd run out his NCAA eligibility, so he could only dive in USA Swimming open meets, but that was all he needed to be ready for, and qualified for, the Olympics. As it turned out at the Trials, Chet qualified off the platform (where he'd earned a silver medal four years before) and Chuck surprised everyone by qualifying off the springboard. Qualifying for the synchronized slots was much harder, because each country was limited to one pair off the platform and one off the springboard. It was close off the platform, but they didn't make it; however, in an equally close race they did capture the springboard slot.
But they weren't the only swimmers and divers coming out of Billy's program that year. The successes of North Dakota divers in all kinds of competitions, not just the Olympics, were being noticed, as was Tim and Billy's insistence on love and support, combined with a much less competitive atmosphere. This appealed to some athletes more than others, but the word was out in a lot of high school venues (especially high school swimming and diving championship meets) that North Dakota produced winners without the aching pressure of the big universities. It kept a small but steady flow of good swimmers and divers coming to UND, but not so many that Billy had too many for his program and had to be selective. The necessity for selectivity was what bred the fierce competition at the larger schools. He had to admit, that while love and support could be preached at a big school, it was more likely to be heard at a smaller school.
So there were two backstrokers (a man and a woman), a breaststroker (man), and three all-around swimmers that might qualify in a number of events, including the medley (all three women). When the Trials were over two of the women had qualified, Mary Elizabeth Hardy (always called Mary E, for some reason) in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle, and Judy Adamski in the 400 meter individual medley. Of course, since this was Fred-land, all of the folks making it to the trials would be part of Fred's entourage in London.
Marty's Cave continues the traditions of the first group of Cavers: love and support, lots of Olympic success, and a single locker room. As far as Marty is concerned they all go together. He loves to tell the story of Dag Nilsen, a blue-eyed blond (almost white hair) Norwegian-American who came to the Center when he was four years old. Even at that age he was a good tumbler, and his parents were enthusiastic about his becoming a gymnast. Marty was worried that they were pushing him too hard, too fast, and too young, but they insisted that it was Dag that was pushing and they were simply trying to make it possible for him to do what he loved–and that was tumbling, which would inevitably lead to gymnastics if Dag wanted to continue. Age four was younger than Marty wanted in his program, but the boy was both eager and incredibly talented. It was inevitable that he would eventually be invited to join the Cave, but the question was, When? By age eight he was almost as good as any of the Cavers, but somehow a third grader didn't seem to fit the Cave.
That year Marty decided to have a frank conversation with Dag's parents, Erik and Britt. He'd gotten to know them quite well over the previous four years, and they were avid supporters of his program. But he had no idea of how they'd react to a description of the Cave. One evening when they came to pick up Dag, the Cave happened to be empty and he decided to give them a tour while Dag changed into his street clothes upstairs. As they approached the locker rooms he pointed Britt to the girls side and took Erik with him to the boys side. As they all met inside the single room, Britt burst out laughing. "Why do you have two doors?"
Marty explained that it was for the public image when visitors were allowed in the Cave–but not in the locker rooms. Erik looked around and asked, "So all of the kids change together, is that right?"
"Yes, it is. It has an interesting history, right from the beginning of the Cave, and the Cavers all support the idea."
Britt said, "You aren't going to tell me that there aren't some pretty clear sexual implications to this, are you?"
"Of course not. Over the years the Cavers have made their own rules about sexual behavior in the Cave. Some groups have tolerated, or encouraged–however you want to view it–more than others. We've never had a pregnancy nor an abortion, but we've had some marriages–all very successful ones, I might add."
Erik said, "This sounds more like the stories of Scandinavia than middle America. We've lived here all our lives, but this is, honestly, new to us."
Britt said, "Well, the results of the Cave program speak for themselves. OK, Marty, why are you showing us this tonight?"
Marty replied, "Well, Dag is plenty good enough to be part of the Cave. But we generally invite kids while they're in middle school, and usually seventh or eighth grade. Dag's in third grade. Is he ready for this?"
Marty is still reeling from Britt's answer. "Ask him."
One simply doesn't think of asking a third grader about a situation so fraught with sexual implications. That's when Marty came to talk to Tim and me.
Tim listened to the whole story and then started laughing. He said, "Well, we like to think we're the leaders of the sexual revolution in North Dakota, but it appears that we may not be. The Nilsens seem to be one up on you, perhaps on all of us. Marty, talk to Dag. In his mother's words, ask him. Give him the same tour you gave his parents, let him ask all of the questions he can think of, answer his questions, and then ask him if he's ready to be a Caver."
Marty gave Dag the tour one afternoon when a few of the Cavers were practicing. The Cavers were friendly to Dag and greeted Marty like they might a favorite uncle. Dag and Marty watched a while, and then Marty took Dag for a tour of the study area and then the locker room–Marty took him in through the "Girls" entrance. When they got inside Dag looked around and said, "I don't see any girls."
"You don't see any boys either. They're all outside practicing."
"Everybody changes together?"
"Yes, right at those lockers. The showers are over there."
Dag walked over to the shower room and said, "I've never seen boys and girls showers together. At the Y we have separate rooms."
"Would this bother you?"
"Oh, no. I think it'd be neat. Am I missing something? Is this arrangement just to prove something, or is it to encourage sex?"
Would you expect that question from a third grader?
"It's not to encourage sex, but it does allow for it."
"If I used this locker room, then I wouldn't have any problem telling one of the girls in my class that I don't want to play doctor and nurse with her."
"Has a girl suggested playing doctor and nurse."
"Actually there are two of them that seem determined to get me to take my clothes off and show them my.... I'm not sure what to call it with you."
"What did the girls call it?"
"If you talk about it with your parents, what do you call it?"
"And with the other boys?"
"I know all those terms, and a lot more. Use what you like. What did you think of the girls' invitation?"
"I didn't like it. I'd like to see a girl naked–I never have, except my mom–and it wouldn't bother me to take off my clothes, but there's something that isn't right about two girls wanting to go with me behind some bushes and take off our clothes."
"I agree with you about that. If they didn't think they were doing something wrong, they wouldn't want you to go behind the bushes."
"If that's wrong, why is this OK?"
"That's a good question. Let's start with, because it isn't a secret from your parents."
"But this big locker room is a secret from the world, or I'd know about it, wouldn't I?"
"It's a secret from the world, because some people would be upset by it. But the parents of all the Cavers know all about the Cave, and knew about it before their kids were invited to join the Cave."
"So have you shown this to my parents?"
"And they were OK with it?"
"They didn't exactly say. I asked them if they thought you'd be comfortable here, especially since all of the kids are a lot older than you. Your mom said to ask you, and so I am."
"Why would you invite me to be a Caver when I'm so much younger than the rest?"
"You know the answer to that. You're better than anyone your age in the program, and better that everyone two or three years older than you. You're already better than some of the Cavers. But you are little and you are young. And you are a long way from being sexually mature. So if you were a Caver you'd see boys and girls in relationships that most kids your age never see and don't really know about, or think about."
"That wouldn't bother me. And it certainly wouldn't bother me to take my clothes off with everyone else. Is someone likely to want to play with my dick?"
"Eventually, but the Cavers have a firm rule. You must ask first, and you never push people to do something they don't want to do."
"That kind of sounds like the Golden Rule."
"I've never thought of it that way, but it's a good comparison."
"If you invite me, I'd like to join the Cave."
"Let's talk with your parents when they come to pick you up."
"OK. They should be here by now."
I sent Dag upstairs to find his parents and ask them to wait. In the meantime I sat down with the Cavers that were practicing in the Cave.
Upon being told what was afoot, they expressed surprise that a boy as young as Dag would become a Caver. I told them he was as good a gymnast as some of them, and one day would be our top gymnast. They accepted that, but their concern was best expressed by one of their questions, "Will having Dag around limit out sexual activity? We're a fairly sexy bunch."
My answer was, "No, unless you're engaging is inappropriate activity. You aren't fucking on the benches, are you?"
"Marty! Of course not. It hasn't started much this year with the new kids, But last year I got my tits fondled often enough, and there were plenty of hard-ons in the shower. How is a third grader going to deal with that?"
"My best guess is that he'll enjoy watching. I would also guess that before long he'll want to join in a little. If the big boys can tweak your tits or your dick, why can't the little boy?"
"You're OK with that?"
"He'll have to understand that all the same rules apply to him. Talk first, respect comfort zones."
"Yeah, but what about adult-child sex?"
"You're all children, but there are other Cavers. I'll have to talk to the college age kids, but they get the same lecture about the middle schoolers now. I can't have twenty-year-olds and twelve-year-olds getting involved sexually any more than I can have twenty-year-olds and eight-year-olds getting involved sexually."
"Well, Marty, if you're OK with Dag, we certainly are. And there will be no sex involving him unless and until he talks about it. Be sure he understands the talk first rule."
A week later was Dag's first day in the Cave. Because his school ended later, he arrived at the Marty Center later, and about half the Cavers present were already out of the locker room. In this story you've already met the four Cavers who would compete in the 2004 Olympics in Athens: Gil Stevenson, Fritz Palmer, Ellen Halverson and Nancy Drew. All were fairly new to the Cave, having been invited to join right after the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Gil and Nancy, among others, were in the Cave when Marty brought Dag in. He introduced Dag and wondered whether he should ask a boy or a girl to take Dag into the locker room. Then he remembered Britt's advice on a previous occasion: "Ask him."
So he did. "Dag, I don't go into the locker room except in emergencies, it's private for the Cavers. Who would you like to take you in and introduce you to the Cavers in there."
Dag said, "Darlene, will you take me in and introduce me?" Then he turned to Marty and said, "The problem is with the girls, not the boys. I'd better get used to it." Then he and Darlene went into the locker room together. Darlene gave Marty a full report later. She'd found an empty locker for Dag near hers and introduced him to Jack LeGrande whose locker was across from Dag's and who was completely naked and ready to put on a jockstrap.
Dag looked around and saw that everyone was staring at him. He said to the group, "This is sort of a test, isn't it?"
Darlene said, "Yes, Dag, I think it is. You're the youngest Caver ever, and we're very curious. We all hope you make it, but this is sort of a test."
Dag put the books he was carrying into the locker, along with his coat. He calmly proceeded to take off his shoes and socks, then his shirt and undershirt, then his pants. Then he looked at the group that was looking at him and saw that they'd been joined by the other Cavers who'd been outside when he came in. He said, "The dick and balls of an eight-year-old can't be all that interesting. But since you're curious, have a look." He stripped off his briefs, stood up, kind of shoved out his hips, and displayed a very small, but very hard penis with tiny balls hanging under it. Then he reached into his gym bag and took out his jockstrap (which he didn't really need), shorts, and T-shirt. He pulled his jock up to just below his balls, let it sit there a short while, and then pulled it up all the way. "Show's over, folks. Come back at the end of practice."
Nothing he could've done could've more endeared him to the group. And when he got on the pommel horse–his best event–he was in like Flynn. Even though the apparatus was a little too big for him (or he was too small for it), he handled it like a master. It wasn't the best event for any of the boys present, and instantly the little third grader was the best of the lot. Since he'd started as a tumbler, his next best event was floor exercises, and he was at least as good as any of the other Cavers.
Well, Dag had passed his test in the locker room. Now it was the turn of the older kids. Could they accept being equaled or beaten by a little kid. Marty watched from the side and held his breath. Gil spoke first. "With Dag on the club team, there aren't many clubs that can touch us. This is going to be a great year." The others gathered around, patted him on the back, and made him completely welcome in the Cave. Marty breathed a sign of relief.
When he told Tim and me about it later, Tim said, "You needn't have worried. You have good kids in the Cave. You pick them well, and run a damn good program, raising solid adults as well as top gymnasts."
The shower later might've been another test, but Dag was ahead of them. He stripped quickly and was the first to the shower. He chose a showerhead right in the middle, stood with his back to the showerhead, facing the group. He made no attempt to hide himself, and made no attempt to hide the fact that he was enjoying looking at everyone else. He told them, "You all looked at me before, now it's my turn. I'm getting quite an education."
Over the next weeks he got a lot more education. This group of Cavers included six kids who'd been in the Cave a year or so and four invited to join following the Sydney Olympics. The new Cavers were also new to the sexual freedom of the Cave, and the older Cavers were finding themselves with a bunch of new Cavers. It took a while for the sexuality of the group to begin expressing itself. True to form, it started with a conversation one day in the shower. Jack led it off by saying, "The two keys rules for sex in the Cave are, talk first, and respect everyone's comfort zone. So let's talk."
Darlene continued, "Jack and I, and four others have been Cavers for two years or more. We know our comfort zones and have talked to each other. Just to make it easy, I'll try to explain the tacitly agreed comfort zone: You can touch, feel, tickle, rub, kiss, anybody. Talk first applies to inserting anything into the mouth, vagina, anus, or anywhere else–I'm not sure exactly what 'anywhere else' covers, but you get the point. At least until we talk more as a group, take your orgasms somewhere else."
Jack said, "That pretty much covers the waterfront. The next question is whether we have a buy-in from the new Cavers."
All either nodded or said either, "Yes," or "I'm in."
Then Darlene noticed Dag nodding and saying, "Yes." She immediately realized that the conversation had not really been for a nine-year-old–his birthday having just passed. But at the same time she realized that Marty had made it clear the Dag's presence in the Cave was not to inhibit the rest of the Cavers, just because he was young.
She decided that the best thing to do was to get it right out in the open. "Dag, do you think that there needs to be some special rules for a nine-year-old?"
Dag thought a while on that and then replied, "Yes, and no. Touching, feeling, tickling, rubbing, and kissing aren't going to bother me, and eventually I'll get up my nerve to actually engage in some of those. As you, and I, are well aware, the issue of orgasms isn't likely to affect me for a few years. Inserting involves talking first, so let's just say that we need a special rule for touching, feeling, tickling, rubbing, kissing, and talking first. I know there's a concern about you older kids being involved sexually with a little kid. But, legally, most of us are kids now. But let's just agree that big kids shouldn't initiate things with little kids, and little kids ought to talk first about everything with big kids. I'm comfortable with that if you are."
They all agreed they were.
Kissing was already part of the Cave scene, but touching, feeling, tickling, and rubbing quickly became common, especially in the shower. Showers generally involved people dividing their time between soaping, rinsing, and fiddling with the person under the head next to them. From the beginning nobody made much of an issue about which gender they were going to play with. In fact, there was a tendency to play with tits, penises, and testicles, those being the easiest to touch, feel, rub, or tickle. Squeezing got tacitly added to the list, except that the boys made it clear that did not apply to balls. About a month later, they were all standing in the showing, doing what came naturally, when Dag spoke up. "I feel left out. So I'm talking first, to all of you, and giving you permission to respond to me as I initiate things with you. OK?"
Everyone knew they were crossing a threshold. However, they'd known it was coming and had talked to Marty about it, and Marty had talked to Tim and me. I said, "This is a tough call for a lawyer. Right now you don't have eighteen-year-olds in the Cave, but that's soon going to change. You can hardly tell the eighteen-year-olds they can't join the party. By the same token you''ll have a hard time telling the nine-year-old he can't join the party."
Marty said, "He'd accept it. He's a good kid, and he wants to be part of the Cave for the gymnastics, not the sex. But with the sex right under his nose, it'd be tough to sit it out."
Tim continued, "Let's say there was a security camera in the Cave–I know there isn't and there won't be–and the police or a prosecutor got hold of it. Here were these kids, essentially playing grab-ass as a group. There's no fucking. No orgasms–at least under the kids' present agreement. They're tickling and squeezing, at most a little sucking that doesn't go anywhere. Would you want to prosecute those kids? Charlie, what about Marty? Is he in danger?"
I said, "Marty didn't make the rules, and doesn't go into the locker room or shower when kids're present, because of sexual implications, especially if there are nude girls. But he knows what the rules are and allows them. Yeah, he could get in trouble."
"How does Dag's being there change things?"
"Legally, not at all. But his presence might affect the decision of a prosecutor to bring some kind of charges. I think that you have two really great aces in the hole: First, the public doesn't really know what goes on in the Cave; you've been very lucky at keeping that on close hold. Second, the parents know what's going on and have given their permission, and I'm sure that they'd strongly support you in any situation. And, remember, there's no film and there isn't going to be. So any prosecution would have to entail the testimony of the kids. The parents would never allow it. And if they were subpoenaed, we'd simply have to have a very clear coaching session about their rights under the fifth amendment. After all, everybody agrees these were consensual sexual acts, not forced by anyone. So if a crime was committed the kids have to be guilty of something. That justifies the fifth amendment. But, Marty, it isn't going to come to that. You run a superb program, produce Olympians by the bucketful, and are the pride of Grand Forks. Anybody trying to bring that down would be in serious trouble with the folks of Grand Forks. So my best advice is, 'Go forth and let the kids do their thing, including getting tons of medals in Athens'."
Marty said, "I'm going to sue you for malpractice if I go to jail."
"Tim and I will visit every day."
With that as background, Marty had told the older Cavers, "When Dag starts to initiate things, you may respond affirmatively, just as if he were your age. But don't push him, let him do the pushing."
So when Dag posed his question, the response from all the other Cavers was, "OK."
Dag didn't waste any time. He headed straight for Darlene, kissed her, first on the lips, then on both tits, and then in the middle of her pubic hair, which he began to rub. She said, "You can push inside, Dag, if you're comfortable doing that." He was, and he did. It didn't last long, and he returned to his own shower head, hard as a rock, and tweaking two other dicks as he passed by.
Jack, whose penis had not been tweaked, spoke up, "I feel left out. Why don't you just open the door for everyone?"
Nothing more happened that afternoon and soon they were dressing and talking about dinner, homework, and their current plateau on one of the pieces of gymnastic apparatus in the Cave. Over time Dag became a regular, and equal, participant in the fun and games of the Cave. Unlike some of the previous groups of Cavers, this group continued the policy of having orgasms elsewhere, at least for the next three or four years.
Dag was too young to go to Athens, but he was ready for London. He'd travel to London with Fred's group, but as the husband of Darlene, an event that had taken place on his sixteenth birthday. He and Darlene had been interested in each other from the beginning, and the sexual play just cemented the relationship. On their first date her took her to dinner at Jerry's–he paid, but she had to drive. They ended up at her house, talking first with her parents, and then just the two of them. The second date was a movie, and Saturday dates became regular. He walked her home from the Cave every evening (not too far out of his way). Like a lot of teens, they burned up the phone lines (or airwaves). Marty decided that Darlene might need someone to talk to who would be sympathetic to her situation. So, one day after practice, Lynn dropped by the Cave and offered to take Dag and Darlene home. She dropped off Dag and then told Darlene, "You've been set up. I'm taking you out for dinner and conversation, and your parents are already in on it. Jerry's?"
"Sure. Conversation about what?"
"He's the sailor, isn't he?"
"Yes, and my husband. I was twenty-one when I met him and he was fourteen. We're about six years apart; does that sound familiar?"
"My God! And you two make it work?"
"We do indeed. And that's the conversation for dinner tonight."
Reader, I'm not going to try to reproduce that conversation. It was mostly stories, of courtship, romance, marriage, and the unimportance of age. Lynn had other examples to draw upon, and by the time the dinner was over Darlene's worries about the age difference were gone. And she had the strength to stand up to friends and others who would tell her she was crazy. Luckily, her family was not a part of that group. They loved their daughter, and if dating Dag made her happy, so be it. And later, if falling in love with Dag made her happy, so be it. And if when Dag turned sixteen Darlene wanted to marry him, so be it.
One other conversation is worth repeating: between Darlene and her father–as reported later to Dag and then to Marty and then to me. Marty had been so impressed with it that he checked it out with Darlene's father before he passed it on.
It began with Darlene's father, "Darlene, could we have a little chat?"
"Sure, it sounds serious."
"It is, but nothing that's going to upset you. You and Dag spend quite a bit of time in your room, or in Dag's room at his house."
"We do a lot of other things, too. And just so you know, we do a lot in our rooms other than sex. Have you been talking to Dag's parents?"
"Yes. Does that bother you?"
"Dag is as open with his parents as I am with you."
"OK, here's what I, well, we–your mother and I and Dag's parents...."
"There's been a lot of conversation."
"Yes. Dag is eleven and a half. He's beginning to mature in many ways, including sexually."
"This isn't new information, Daddy."
"The new information, at least new to our conversation, is that sexually mature boys can get sexually mature girls pregnant."
"Hear me out. Adults, when they have sexual relations that they don't want to lead to babies, use birth control. Depending on the kind of birth control you use, it pretty much lets you stop worrying about getting pregnant. The arm implants are very effective, and for most people have few if any side effects. Since you're in no immediate danger of getting pregnant, you have time to see if your body accepts the implant without side effects, and plan another method if needed. You're seventeen, nobody will raise an eyebrow if you get an implant. It's not their business what the age of your partner is."
"Daddy, you've really thought about this, haven't you?"
"Yes, honey; both your mom and I have."
"I'll certainly take your advice. Other Cavers are beginning to have this conversation."
"Are they able to have it with their parents?"
"It's the Cave, the parents know what's going on."
"I'm not sure I really do. What's it like taking a shower with a bunch of boys?"
"It's not just a bunch of boys. It's boys, and girls, that have permission to play around. I usually get my tits squeezed several times, and I enjoy squeezing their penises."
"What about Dag?"
"He joins in the fun. What usually happens to him is that a couple of the big boys grab him and hold him, usually on the floor with the shower running either in his face or his privates. Then they tickle the dickens out of him. He's very ticklish."
"That sounds like they're abusing him."
"It would be abuse, if he didn't ask for it, and love having it done to him. He told me that I should tell the others to do that to him. They were reluctant, but they did it. When they let him up he thanked them, and said they could do it anytime. Somebody grabbed him and they did it again, right then. It doesn't happen every day, but when he gets horny he pushes them–usually by attacking their privates–and they grab him and give him the business. If he screws up a gymnastics routine, they're likely to pin him to the mat, pull down his pants, and give it to him. Whenever they let him go he always says thanks. That's his way of saying they didn't go too far. They never do. I'm not sure what too far would be for Dag."
"I can't believe that I'm having this conversation with my teenage daughter. I certainly couldn't have with my mother or father."
"You and Mom are special, Dad. I love you for it."
The Cavers were used to treating Dag as an equal, and the romance seemed very reasonable to them. In school, outside the Cave, nobody got it, not fellow students, not friends, not teachers, hardly anyone.
Dag wasn't the only Caver to go to the Trials for the London Olympics, but he was the best. And the only one who qualified for London (his skill on the pommel horse got him his place on the team) much to Marty's disappointment. But Dag would do him proud.
Nels and Mary had two fencers and an archer going to the Trials for London. To his delight, all qualified: John Mason with the foil, Marybeth Kranston with the sabre, and Paul Kline in archery. In cycling the GrandCOGs weren't yet ready to be Olympians, and none of the other NTAC riders were in that league.
So there was the lineup for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London, England, July 27 through August 12, 2012: Chet Thompson, platform diving, Chuck Thompson, springboard diving, Chet and Chuck Thompson, synchronized springboard diving; Mary E. Hardy, freestyle; Judy Adamski, individual medley; Perry Weeks and Norman Crosse, 49er sailing; Dag Nilsen, gymnastics (pommel horse); Paul Kline, archery; John Mason, foil; and Marybeth Kranston, sabre–a total of ten. A spectacularly large representation for a state or university of our size.
Andy and Marty had completely taken over Fred's job of making arrangements for, and hosting, the huge contingent of athletes, coaches, family, Gang, friends, Cavers, and hangers-on that always came to the Olympics as the guests of Fred and Fred's Sports. When all was planned and they were about ready to depart with the early contingent of just Olympians and their families and coaches, Fred confided to Andy and Marty, "Thank you for taking care of all of this; I really couldn't have done it." He went on, "You know I want this to continue, Olympiad after Olympiad, as long as Fred's Sports can afford it, and that should be far into the future."
Later Marty said to Andy, and then Tim and me and others, "You know, that's the first time that Fred's admitted that he's not the man he used to be. All that transfer of power and authority was always in anticipation of a time that would come, but this time he admitted that he couldn't have done it."
Andy replied, "He's ninety-four years old. He's incredible for that age. But I think he's slipping, and I think he knows it. Has he talked to you about final arrangements?"
"Some. He wants to be cremated and be interred on the campus. He want's Tim and Toppy to be in charge of funeral, memorial, whatever. He told me that I was to get out of the way and let the professionals take care of it. I'll be more than happy to. God, Andy, I'm going to miss him, whenever that time comes."
Andy replied, "I think he has a few more good years in him. But if he has years, I hope they're good years. I don't want his last years to be unhappy ones; he doesn't deserve that. And I especially hope that we're never called upon to use our powers of attorney to overrule his wishes on something, though that's exactly what we've been directed to do."
Marty ended the conversation with, "Well, we can neither control nor predict the future. We'll just have to live it."
Perry and Norman, along with Greg and Josh and the entire support team, including Auggie and Lynn who simply couldn't stay away, were in Portsmouth for the spring and summer before the Olympics, except when they had to be at a race. Perry and Norman had decided that they liked the stability of having a "home port" as the Olympics approached. Portsmouth was very near Weymouth, going back and forth was easy, and they were far enough away that they avoided a lot of the commotion leading up to the Olympics. Besides, it was nice for Norman to be at home, and Perry was beginning to think of Portsmouth as his second home.
Unlike their time in China, they didn't feel that they needed to leave a member of the support team in Portsmouth when they all headed to London to greet the arrival of the Gang and participate in the Opening Ceremony. Norman's father, Henry, easily made arrangements for the 49ers to be carefully stored, whether in Portsmouth or Weymouth.
Marty and Andy did have one surprise for the entire group when they arrived in London–three days before the Gang, for, as Andy put it, R & R. The group consisted of the six person support team, Perry and Norman, Greg and Josh, Auggie and Lynn, and Henry and Zenna. He told us we'd be met at the station when we got off the train from Portsmouth; we were to look for a sign that said, "Fred's Sports." Under the sign were two gentlemen in uniforms, one from Thomas Cook Tours and the other from Claridge's. Not all the group "got it," but you can believe that Perry, Norman, Henry, and Zenna did! They were ushered to a Cook's Coach (never called a bus) and driven to Claridge's. In the lobby was another surprise: Angus and Trevor, Goose and Kelin, Arndel and Nidal, Tim and I, and Auggie's former crew, Freddie Keeler, were all there waiting for them. Three three-room suites had been reserved for the group, clearly showing Andy's understanding of how the group would view sleeping arrangements. The man at reception spoke to Norman and advised him that he, Perry, Tim, and I would have the Royal Suite; the others could decide for themselves how they'd divide up the other two suites, all three were adjacent on the top floor. The group was told they should come for dinner at their leisure; breakfast would be served in their rooms at nine; and Cook's had arranged a private London tour for them at ten. The tour would return them to the hotel by five and a group dinner would be served in a private dining room at seven. The following day was open, would they please give the concierge their meal requests as early as possible. The following day breakfast would again be in their rooms at nine and a coach would take them to join their larger group at noon. Would that be satisfactory?
I'll let you guess.
When Norman and his family got to the Royal Suite he found an envelope on the table with a Fred's Sports return address. He opened the letter which was addressed to the entire group and conveyed the thanks and best wishes of Fred, Andy, and all of Fred's Sports, for the years of service that the Fred's Sports Sailing Team had given to Fred's Sports, North Dakota, the nation and the world. (Andy needed Carl around when he wrote that.) They hoped that the group would enjoy their grand reunion for the next few days in London. Have a ball. And leave the hotel from time to time.
Everyone assembled in the Royal Suite, refreshments were ordered, Cokes were dispensed, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting the whole group together. Auggie took charge of room assignments, noting that with two of the eleven couples in the Royal Suite, it meant that eight of the remaining couples got one of the queen beds in the other two suites, each of which has two bedrooms each with two queen-size beds. He concluded, "And Freddie, I haven't forgotten you; you will join Lynn and me in our room. Still we need to find two couples that would like to double up, or one couple that will sleep in one of the living rooms–I think they're called parlours over here."
Perry immediately said, "There's an extra bed in our room, who wants it."
David replied, "Nobody. Millie and I are going to entertain Curtis and Gene in our bed tonight. We've been aboard this boat from the beginning and have never all slept together."
Curtis and Gene smiled their agreement.
For Norman and Perry the biggest surprise was yet to come. The next morning breakfast arrived as announced at 9:00 a.m. Henry was up and helped the waiter set up the table. Then he knocked on Perry and Norman's door and said, "Breakfast is ready. And I have a special message from my wife, 'You are to come as you are. No cheating'."
Norman had gone to the door so he could hear his father, but he couldn't really believe what he was hearing. "Dad, say that again."
"Once is enough. You heard."
He looked over at Perry. Both of them were naked as jaybirds, having not yet really gotten out of bed. Perry giggled a little and said, "I think that your mother's decided that you and I shouldn't have all the fun in this family. Are you ready?"
"Well, the last time we were here you offered this; I think Mum is calling your bluff."
"No bluff. Let's go; there's nothing to delay us."
"Yes, there is. I have to pee."
"So do I, then we go."
The two boys came into the living room of the suite, both embarrassed and both sporting great boners. Henry was in his pajamas and Zenna in a very modest nightgown. Norman hadn't seen his parents like that for years and years and Perry never had. Norman said, "What gives?'
His mother replied, "The last time we were together in this hotel Perry said that he could be comfortable dressed as you are now, and I said that I thought I might enjoy the view. I decided to get up my nerve and see if both of us were telling the truth. It seems that you, Perry, aren't quite as comfortable as you thought you could be. I, on the other had, am definitely enjoying the view."
Perry took the cue, stood tall, and slowly turned around, showing off a truly handsome body. He said to Norman, "You, too. She hasn't seen you in all your glory in years. Don't be shy."
Norman did the same. Henry said, "Last night your mother told me what to tell you this morning. I couldn't believe it. Perry, bringing you into the family has really changed our outlook on life. Now sit down and eat, and be assured that no incest is intended, planned or desired. I think Zenna was truly curious about two things: First, just how handsome are the two of you, and second, would you really be willing to come out here like this. I think she got her answers."
Zenna said, "Henry has it right. And you two are really, really handsome. And your penises are simply fantastic."
Perry thought Norman was going to crawl under the table. But Perry thought the whole situation was hilarious, and really started laughing. It was catching and soon all four were laughing. The ice broken, they enjoyed a wonderful Claridge's breakfast. Norman is still shaking his head.
As Tim and I went to sleep that night, in a room with Flint and Pam, Josh's parents, he said, "I wish Max were here."
"Why on earth?"
Either Flint or Pam asked, "Who's Max? Oh, you mean Max of the Gang back in Grand Forks. We've met him on our visits there."
"Max is Max the Arranger, as in arranger of sexual liaisons. And tomorrow night is going to be very complicated."
Pam said, "And it's going to be especially complicated with Josh and Norman having their parents around. I know that Josh and Greg are more familiar with us that Norman and Perry are with Henry and Zenna, but still having your mom and dad around has got to be limiting."
Flint added, "To say the least."
Pam said, "So I suggest that you two boys, I know you aren't boys but people seem to think of you that way....that you two boys join the rest and leave the four parents in the Royal Suite. Nothing will happen here, and God's know what all will happen in the other two suites. Have a ball."
Flint added, "And if having a ball doesn't get you 'boys' involved with Josh and Greg, I know that they're going to be crestfallen."
We had a lovely dinner in one of the private dining rooms of the Claridge. It was formal, elegant, delicious, but not stuffy. Auggie wouldn't allow that. Auggie made the only real speech, noting that the team had been together eleven years, with one four-year break after the Sydney Olympics, and had thus far earned four Olympic medals, and were about to win their fifth. More importantly they had functioned perfectly as a team, brought together from all parts of the world, and including a variety of ages. I'd be sad to see it end, but that wouldn't be for four more years, as Greg and Josh deserved their shot at being Olympians.
It was the first formal announcement that things would continue for another Olympiad, and for those involved–the support team and Greg and Josh–it was wonderful news. They all really liked what they were doing, and Andy's instruction to David to maximize the joy of the adventure had made the last four years a true delight. I think some of the former teams members, back for the reunion, were a little sorry they wouldn't be around the next four years!
That night we took Pam's advice, tucked the four parents into the Royal Suite, bid them good night, and headed for God's only knew what in the other two suites. Auggie set the tone by announcing that each couple should separate and each go to a different suite. Once inside with the doors shut, we were to "lose our clothes, keep the noise down as this is a classy hotel, and lose any inhibitions we might not have previously lost."
I know I sucked a lot of dicks, but left the conclusion for others. Lynn insisted that I was the one to fuck her, and I did, with pleasure. Everybody did something with everybody, and in the morning we were told that things were just as pleasuring in the other suite. Much to our amazement, we learned that Henry, Zenna, Flint, and Pam had had a lovely evening playing cards. They got talking about what was happening in the other suites and one thing led to another. Soon Henry suggested that they play strip poker and before long all of them were naked. That's as far as they went, but they did decide that they'd have a naked breakfast as well. When Norman heard that, he almost fell over, and it was a long time before he was able to actually talk to his parents about it. When he did, his mom had simply said, "Henry and I didn't think you should have all the fun. We didn't see why we had to play by different rules than our children. But we're stymied by your rule about comfort zones. That night we moved our comfort zones about as far as they can move."
The open day in London was used in various ways be different couples. I know that the four from the Bahamas enjoyed most of the day in Harrod's shopping for things they had a hard time getting at home. Tim and I took Flint's hint about Greg and Josh and invited them to spend the day with us. We did some of the sights of London, including the London Eye Ferris wheel, which they'd heard about and were eager to ride. Our day together included a "nap" back at Claridge's, which started with lunch in one of the suite parlours. As soon as the waiter had set the table and served the food, Tim got up and said, "I think we're all overdressed." He promptly undressed.
Greg and Josh, who'd heard a tremendous amount about Tim (and me as well, I guess), but hadn't spent much time with us as they weren't part of the first Olympiad's sailing, were a little taken aback. But then Greg got it, started stripping, and said to Josh, "Josh, this is the invitation you've been dreaming of. Get your clothes off." Josh did.
Tim said, "Let's enjoy lunch and contemplate what we might like to have happen after lunch."
I said, "I think these boys' sexual appetites exceed their traditional appetites right now."
"Well, they'll just have to keep their horny loins in check. I'm hungry."
Greg and Josh were finished with their meal well ahead of us, but waited patiently. Well, their erections suggested a limit to their patience. When Tim finished eating we all stood up, and Tim walked over to the boys, grabbed each of their dicks and gently pulled them to one of the big beds in the nearest bedroom. At first the boys were a little self-conscious around the two of us older guys, especially after hearing from the others on the team that we were sort of the leaders of the whole Gang. But Tim's bouncing on the bed and grabbing at their asses and genitals soon loosened them up. Then he said, "OK, you guys're the leaders. If you don't lead, nothing happens. Our only rule that we only fuck each other, no other men...."
"Men or boys." The he lay back on the bed, sporting a wonderful hard-on. I got on the other bed, sporting a less that fully hard hard-on.
It took them a couple of minutes to take in the situation; then Josh said, "Can we suck your dicks?"
"You guys have to lead."
They got the message. Once started, they were spectacular. They traded off, got us sucking them, and finally organized a four man daisy chair of dicks in mouths, and that's the situation we were in as we came, one by one–the young studs coming first, of course. Tim ended it by announcing, "I think that you're now ready for an Olympic challenge. Get ready Rio."
The Opening Ceremony was the evening and night of Friday, July 27, 2012. It was a spectacular celebration of being British, and widely hailed as a success. The Queen formally opened the games, and it took just short of two hours for the athletes from more than 200 countries to march in. Our group of ten stayed together, and each of them afterwards echoed Tim's sentiment that the march made them Olympians, and everything following, even a gold medal, was secondary to just being there.
Interestingly, Paul Kline, our only archer began the day with what was called the ranking round for the thirty-nine archers competing. On the basis of that day's score they would be ranked from one to thirty-nine. Their ranking would determine their pairings in the coming tournament. The format was a series of two-person contests, the winner of each advancing to the next round. The number one ranked person would begin competing with the lowest ranked person, and so forth, hopefully pitting the best two archers against each other in the final round. It also made the ranking vastly important. Paul's rank was eleven, not promising a medal, but also not promising early elimination. We would see.
I should note that it seems ridiculous that they can't come to a standardized archery format. I dislike this system, because one bad day eliminates you. It seems very unlikely that the best two archers will be in the final round. I much prefer the use of the standard FITA rounds, as used when I competed. It also allows for maintaining a record which allows comparison from Olympiad to Olympiad. Get off your high horse, Charlie.
To the sounds of the fireworks at the end of the Opening Ceremony, we'll end this episode, and let the story of the London athletes be told in the next.
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