I just love the Olympics.

I have always loved the Olympics. I love the tears, the pride, the emotion, the unity. It’s all the feel-good-stuff that I just can’t get enough of.

My enthusiasm for the Olympics is different now than it used to be. Like many Utahns, I got to participate more closely with the Olympics when they were in Salt Lake City in 2002. I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to work for the SLOC for five months surrounding the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to participate as a spectator at several of the sporting and entertaining events. Watching the Olympics on TV is awesome and still gives you a sense of the Games, but you have the commentator’s critiques and tend to view it with more of an eye of judgment. Actually being at the events allows you to feel the true support and camaraderie that is part of the Olympic spirit and how incredibly strong it is.

One of my favorite moments during the 2002 games was a long distance cross country event. The athlete that finished last was from some warm weather country and had had little training in actual conditions. He crossed the finish line about an hour and a half after the others, but the spectators, other athletes, announcers, and Olympic personnel cheered him on to the finish line like he was the gold medal winner. There were few critiques at any events I attended. Actually, it was the opposite; if an athlete made a mistake, instead of pointing it out or quoting deductions or histories, the announcers merely ask everyone in the crowd to cheer to show their support. No matter WHAT country the athlete was from…

The Olympics start with the Opening Ceremony when every country walks in waving its colors, but the REAL appeal for me and the true “Olympic Spirit” are those moments of triumph when we, as human beings, root for each competitor to succeed and cheer no failure, no matter what color their flag, no matter what color their skin, no matter what the ideals of their government.

At least that’s what I think. What do you think?


The Ringer Family said...

ah the olympics! Casey is definately hooked, I of course enjoy them but he stays up later than I ever thought he would for any reason because he loves watching whatever competition. How awesome you got to volunteer at '02 olympics and see such cool stuff, me? I got to watch Kazistan and some other weird country like that play hockey -wo0hoo.

Anonymous said...

It IS great watching the Olympics. I know that every person there is giving it their all and I can not imagine all the hours of preparation. It is just too bad that TV does not cover each person there. I guess that is the advantage you had by being there personally. Vickie

Becca said...

I love the Olympics, too! I have been Tivo-ing and watching every spare moment I have. One of my faves was watching the white-water kayaking. This guy from a small country in Africa that I have never heard of, Togo, won the Bronze and you'd think by how excited he was and the enthusiasm of everyone else that he'd won the Gold! I don't even remember who won the Gold! I totally agree with your sentiments!

blackstarmonkey said...

I remember that cross-country runner! I was just telling someone about that the other day...and how awesome it was. I love the olympics too...i even tear up in those visa commercials where Morgan Freeman narrarates. I am a sucker.

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