Thoughts on the Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

As I watch the Olympics this year I must say that I am filled with joy and excitement. The energy and intensity of the competition is unlike anything else. I love it all: the comeback stories of athletes who were injured and have made it back into the Games, the diversity of different sports, the race for gold. It’s all so exhilarating.  But beyond all of this, what I love most is the unity that the Olympics bring. In a world full of violence, injustice, oppression, hatred, senseless bloodshed, and disagreement it isn’t often at all that you see us come together and take part in something as a planet. That’s the great thing about the Olympic Games. They bring us together. Every two years, even if it’s only for a few days, we are unified. We realize that, contrary to the way we interact with each other outside of the Games, we are not that different from one another. Despite our different cultures and beliefs and languages we can all agree that competition is something that we all love and that it’s worth celebrating. It’s a beautiful thing.

One World One Dream

'One World One Dream'

Concerning the current total medal count, the United States of America has eleven with China in a close second with nine. Korea and Australia both have five. Now, I could choose to sit here and brag about the fact that the country that I happen to a member of is leading the pack but I am not going to. I have found something quite odd happening within me thus far regarding which countries take home medals. The truth is, I love it when I hear of Kirsty Coventry taking home the silver for Zimbabwe in swimming or Abhinay Bindra receiving the gold for India in shooting. It’s not America or China or Australia. It’s different and fresh and I love that. Call me crazy, but I don’t feel like I’m bound to root for only the United States of America simply because this world calls me a citizen of that country.

I won’t lie though. Despite of all of this strange passion that is welling up within me for countries other than my own, I must say that seeing the U.S. men’s 4×100 freestyle relay team defeat the trash talking French by eight hundredths of a second was pretty hilarious.

Soak it all in while it’s here. The stories, the great perfomances, the unity. At least that’s what I plan on doing…

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