The 2016 Summer Olympics kicked off “officially” last night in Rio De Janeiro. I would have to say, this is the very least fanfare I’ve ever seen surrounding the Olympic Games. I think it gets less and less, at every turn.
And you know me. I have a theory about this. We are inundated. We are saturated. This has become just another “blip” on the screens and minds of the younger generations.
When we were kids, and we all were…. the Olympics used to be a BIG dang deal. It seemed like the whole world stopped for them. It was all anyone could talk about.
“Did you see Olga Corbett last night?” “What about Comaneci,…… Naaahhhhhhdya.” “The Men’s Hockey team beat Russia?” The names, the names. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mark Spitz, Jesse Owens, Sonja Henie, Carl Lewis, Wilma Rudolph, Babe Didrikson, Johnny Weissmuller, Greg Louganis, Peggy Flemming, Bruce Jenner, Eric Heiden, and the list goes on and on and on.
It seemed larger than life. It seemed pure. It seemed like us against the world… in a good way. (You know… Go USA. Go USA.) But it was like the whole world was in this together… at the same time.
Now there is controversy and corruption around every turn.
Of course, this year’s games are overshadowed with news items about the current governmental, economic, and social situation which plague most cities in Brazil, with Rio being at the top of the list.
Despite all of this…. It seems I’ve changed too. As it is with every Olympic Games in recent history, my interest appears to be on the decline. I don’t buy into all the pre-Olympic buzz, mostly in part because I don’t watch news on NBC. I am also not as “connected” with the world of sports.
But I will be gall-darned if I don’t have my TV tuned in whenever those Olympic Games are on. (Albeit. The mute button comes in handy for the better part of the whole deal.) But I watch. Today, I got sucked right into Men’s Water Polo… and tonight… Men’s Gymnastics.
Cycling…. not so much. I know those are some incredible athletes. But watching cycling is a lot like watching NASCAR for me. I would rather sit for three hours and watch a Merry-Go-Round.
But give me a Pommel Horse and some Still Rings… and I’m captivated. I’m in with swimming too.
You know, I love to watch sports. Almost as much as I loved competing. But there is something still very compelling about the Olympic Games which always seems to draw me in.
The love of the game. These athletes, for the most part, commit their heads, bodies, hearts, and souls, to their respective sport. They are driven. They signed the proverbial dotted line. They have goals, and vision, and purpose. And this is so very admirable. To have that much passion for a part of this life. For most of them, this is their entire life.
They are amazing. They are skilled. They are masterful. Sometimes, they have magic.
So I watch. And my heart is filled, with an appreciation for them, and for the love of the game. For the love of life.
“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”
― Tommy Lasorda
“Sometimes in life you don’t always feel like a winner, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a winner.”
― Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga: Born This Way
“You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying. To the best you can do everyday.”
― Jason Mraz