The world watched Tuesday night as a handful of teenage girls took home an Olympic gold for the U.S.A. The five gymnasts vaulted, balanced and danced their way to the first women’s team gold since 1996.
But as Shawn Lukas sat at home with his family in Tacoma, Wash., riveted by the performance, a series of texts he began to receive from his uncle Larry made him suspect that his father’s brother wasn’t interested in the events at all.
“He texted me, ‘Does this thing happen every year?’,” said Lukas. “Which is weird, because I hadn’t heard from him in weeks. And when I told him, ‘No, the Olympics alternate every two years between summer and winter games,’ he said, ‘So they’ll be in jackets next time?’ I didn’t quite understand, but kinda started to feel like I wanted to go cut his cable.”
Lukas didn’t share his uneasiness with the rest of the family, who were drawn in by the drama of Russia’s near-comeback on the uneven bars and the U.S.A.’s rivetingly clutch floor exercise, during which they stuck landing after landing to clinch.
“It got weirder when he started asking me about where each girl was from,” said Lukas. “I just sent him to the website. He got quiet after that.”