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Gold Medal Kid

by Ted Scheu
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Gold Medal Kid by Ted Scheu

Two million eyes are watching me.
One million tongues are cheering.
The fears I might have felt before
are quickly disappearing.

Tonight I’m feeling ready—
completely on my game.
My nerves are cool as arctic ice.
I’m hotter than a flame.

I turn and twist and float and fly
as if my arms were wings.
I rise so high I touch the sky—
my legs are filled with springs.

I scoff and laugh at gravity,
defying all its laws.
With every leap I hear the cheers
and thunderous applause.

Olympic dreams of glory
are soaring in my head,
for I’m the best who ever lived
at bouncing on my bed.

  — Ted Scheu

Copyright © 2009. All Rights Reserved. From I Threw My Brother Out: A Laughable Lineup of Sports Poems. Young Poets Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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About this Poem

I love to share this poem and have the listeners try to guess, as the poem progresses, what activity I’m doing. No one ever guesses bouncing on my bed. I was, in fact, the Olympic champion of bed bouncing in 1964, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. In my little mind. That’s where they’ll be having the delayed 2020 Games next summer—Tokyo. I have, in fact, broken several beds bouncing on them, in my time, and even put my hard head through the ceiling once. Ouch. Poor ceiling.

From I Threw My Brother Out: A Laughable Lineup of Sports Poems

No one among current children’s poetry practitioners is writing humorous verse quite like Ted Scheu. He captures kids’ lives in rhyming verse—their joys and giggles, their disappointments and doubts—more honestly than anyone these days. In this sweetly hilarious collection of 58 sports poems for kids ages 6 to 11, Scheu covers just about all the sports bases—with poems with tips for winning games (and losing them), handling confusing coaches, sports dreams, and dislikes—often from the perspective of the not-so-super star kid. Poem titles include “Gold Medal Kid,” “Daddy, It’s Only a Game,” “Ode to a Hockey Puck,” “I Love to Lose,” and “I’m Just a Lonely Goalie.” The illustrations are also utterly unique and completely captivating—stunning black and white photos of kids from the camera of Peter Lourie, children’s author and photographer. Here’s what X.J. Kennedy, celebrated poet for kids, said this about Scheu’s collection, “Ted Scheu, one of our very best poets writing for kids, really knows what turns kids on. I Threw My Brother Out is a first-rate sheaf of engaging rhymes and romping rhythms, full of wisdom and fun. It should go over big, whether read out loud or on the page.”

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About the Author

Ted Scheu (pronounced “shy”) is a children’s poet and teacher from Middlebury, Vermont who is often introduced as a 3rd grader stuck in a grown-up’s body. He is a former elementary teacher (and naval officer, banker, advertising copywriter, and carpenter), who started writing funny poems seriously about 20 years ago. His poems are published over two dozen anthologies in the US and UK, and in six collections of his own: I Froze My Mother, I Tickled My Teachers, I Threw My Brother Out, Now I Know My ZBCs, Getting the Best of Me, and his latest, a tribute to teachers through kids’ eyes (Ted’s kid-eyes) called, Someday I’ll be a Teacher.

His poems are featured in over two dozen anthologies around the world, including in two amazing anthologies from National Geographic, The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, and The Poetry of US. Ted is also super proud of a poem of his that appears a marvelously-sleep-inducing anthology from Little, Brown and Co. called, One Minute till Bedtime.

When he’s not writing humorous poems about kids’ lives, Ted spends about 100 days a year visiting schools around the country. He shares his poems, and mostly helps young writers find their own voices in writing workshops, and to have the kind of fun with poems he never had as a kid. Ted tries to begin (and sometimes end) a poem every day, and when he’s not writing or visiting schools, he loves to eat cereal with lots of milk, and ride his bike—just like any kid his age.

If you haven’t ventured yet to Ted’s website, you’re in for a tickle when you do. Ted and his ‘cousins’ will entertain you. It’s all at www.poetryguy.com.

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