So we got a little ridiculous last week with our argument on whether or not the Olympics are still necessary. I still don’t really understand how one can argue that they aren’t but that’s not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is merely to share why I personally love the Olympics.
1. The Opening Ceremony- OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE THE OPENING CEREMONY. I was admittedly a little late asking people to have an impromptu Opening Ceremony party with me. I actually ended up watching them solo because my roommate Colin hates the Olympics (see here) and everyone else already had plans. Did that deter me? No. I still wore a blue shirt, red and white hat, and bought a 6 pack of Sam Adams to celebrate. I just love the spectacle of countries putting on an elaborate display of their culture and contributions to the world. Even if they do claim to have invented the internet. Shout out to Al Gore. We’ve got your back.
To say that I get giddy over the Opening Ceremonies would be a major understatement. Which leads me to my next point.
2. The Pride- Watching flag bearers of various countries carry their flag into the Olympic arena while fighting back tears of pride and joy is something that nearly gets me every time. I absolutely cannot imagine representing your country in that capacity and feeling the weight of everyone back home on your shoulders. Every year there are countries that have many “firsts” as well. Like the women representing Saudi Arabia this year. I can’t even begin to fathom what that must feel like to know that you are the first to ever do something from your country and will be remembered forever for it.
Then there are those fortunate enough to win medals. Can you imagine the pride involved in not just representing your country but also proving to be the best in the world? And then marching up to the podium in your country’s gear while they play your national anthem. To be honest, I genuinely don’t care what country wins most events. I mean I root for America but it’s enough for me just to see the culmination of all their hard work come together in front of the world.
3. The Competition- I am fascinated by watching anyone who is the best in the world at what they do perform what they do best. I don’t care if you are the master of cereal box puzzles. I want to see you do your thing. I mean we all realize how talented all of the Olympic athletes are, but I’m not sure we really appreciate it. These are people who train their entire lives to be dominant at one thing. These are the most driven and competitive people in the world. I think many of us take their abilities for granted and don’t really understand just how good these people are at what they do.
4. The Stories- Every time the Olympics come around, the world is inspired by the stories surrounding the games. This includes both the athletes’ back stories and also the stories of their accomplishments during the games. Many of us as Americans associate high level athletes with money, but many of the athletes from around the world come from total poverty. Even in America we have athletes who come from nothing like gymnast John Orozco who was born in Puerto Rico with nothing and was raised in the Bronx, NY with nothing.
If you’re anything like me, when there is coverage on 4+ different channels I’ll just flip between them and find an interesting looking competition. I sometimes will skip over channels doing a feature story but if you actually take the time to listen I can guarantee you’ll be inspired by these people’s accomplishments and what they have overcome. I found a great website with the 30 greatest Olympic stories ever. There is some truly fascinating history behind the games that most of us don’t know.
5. The Legacy- Lastly, and maybe my absolute favorite part of the Olympics is watching with the knowledge that I’m witnessing history being made. Every time an event begins during the Olympics I know I’m watching something take place that could be on the next list of the 30 greatest Olympic moments ever. And that’s the great thing about sports in general and why they are so addictive…being the “favorite” to win means nothing. This is not some scripted BBC mini-series. Anything can happen and history will be made. At the time of this post, the United States and China are tied at 19 medals. North Korea currently stands at 4 medals, or as their media will tell it, “ALL OF THE MEDALS!!!” Whether or not it’s what we hoped for and expected is to be determined, but history will be made in the next couple of weeks and I’m pumped for the ride.