Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Olympic Voyeur Speaks

The Olympic Games are off and running. I didn't grow up watching the Olympics. My contemporaries thought it was a waste of time. It wasn't until I met my husband that I became an Olympic watcher. It was a matter of survival with him. He taught me the intricacies of the joy of winning and the "agony of defeat."


The 2002 Winter Olympiad took me from spectator to junkie. You see, I live in Salt Lake City. I voted against the Olympics in my town, but once it was here, there was no stopping me. In fact, I wrote an email type "blog" to all my family members who used email. I created a scrapbook for my progeny. I have recorded all events that occurred to me and my children.


This local olympic experience in my life has me glued to the television today watching a "handball" game that was completely foreign to me, but I had a team. I was rooting for them. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the kayak trials. I sat in the car dealership customer waiting room cheering out loud for the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team.


I find myself grumbling about NBC's coverage. I check the paper and my computer for the daily events. The athletes regardless of national affiliations have my admiration for their drive, tenacity, and endurance. The human spirit is at its best during the Olympics.


If I have to say one thing that makes me watch the Olympics, it's not the commentators or the commercials. It's the people. Watching the people demonstrate our coming together as one, peacefully, for one purpose. People generously appreciating the participants who represent the best of every nation. The Olympics might be criticized for its display of national pride, but if the medal count was not plastered around, you would see that the individuals who compete are the same. They compete with all the physical and mental strength they can muster. You see their common humanity. It is humanity at its best.
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