I have always loved the Olympics for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of watching the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and being absolutely obsessed with Dominique Moceanu. I was 7 then and did Gymnastics at my local rec center. I wanted to be her so bad.
Unfortunately for me, not only do I lack the raw talent and determination to be a gymnast, I pretty much lack any athletic ability all together. I wised up to being bad at gymnastics around 9 or 10, but it took a solid 4 more years from there for me to realize that sports as a whole were not my thing.
Despite being atrocious at just about anything you’ll even be asked to do in gym class I still love sports. I just love them from the stands. And I don’t really discriminate. With the exception of maybe golf, I’ll watch just about any sport if that’s what everyone else is doing. And I’ll get wicked into it too.
That’s why I love the Olympics. Because for 2 weeks everybody who is anybody is watching them and you get to see a whole slew of sports that you otherwise wouldn’t give two shits about. For example, it has only been two days since the opening ceremonies and I’ve already watched Beach Volleyball, Handball, Rowing, and Field Hockey in addition to those tried and true favorites that America only gets excited about every four years because we’re good at them – Swimming and Gymnastics.
I mean I wish I watched more swimming year round. I’m never going to not tune in to see Ryan Lochte’s abs. They sadly just don’t get as much air-time outside of the Olympiad.
Some of my other Olympic favorites are Synchronized Diving and Pole Vault. I’m always in awe and within five minutes I’m jabbering on as if I’m an official commentator. “Ooo, too much splash.” “What a tough break for South Africa.”
My only complaint about the Olympics is that they’re over too fast. But I guess that’s the point. Some people say it’s a sham of world peace. And I agree, just because a bunch of super fit athletes can get along for two weeks does not mean the world as a whole is functioning any better than it did before.
But I do think that it’s a nice reminder of just how big the planet is. And as much as I like seeing team USA win, it’s always kind of nice to watch them lose too. I feel like it’s always good to be reminded that dreams, talent, hard work, and determination are not just American ideals, they’re universal qualities of any one, any where who succeeds at something. We might be the big fish no matter what side of the pond we’re on, but in the end we’re just one fish a in a pretty bad-ass aquarium of talent, and that’s pretty up-lifting.