I’m not a sports fan. Well, ok, I’m not a sports fan until it’s hard not to be one. Like when the Stanley Cup Finals were happening in Vancouver last year and I was right in the middle of it! But for some crazy reason, I’m really into the Olympics. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that it’s hard not be into the Olympics. I don’t think that’s it though.
Do I enjoy watching some of the not-normally televised sports? Sure! I mean, watch those gymnasts do their thing. It’s pretty incredible what they can do with their bodies! But that’s not really why I’m an Olympics nut. No, no. I really love the concept of the Olympics. The notion that for 17 days, athletes from different countries can put aside their differences and just be human beings!
Yes, of course you see politics in the Olympics, especially when it comes to the intricacies of the Opening Ceremonies’ Parade of Nations. As countries come in one by one, a few notable things stand out. Like the fact that Taiwan is called Chinese Taipei and uses a totally different flag. Why? Well, it’s all an effort to appease China, of course!
But it’s easy to overlook this and see what those of who travel already know. That behind all that political bs that we hear about constantly, we really aren’t so different from each other at all! Human nature is human nature, regardless of where you are in the world. And those international athletes at the Olympics are just like the Olympic athletes from your own country. They train just as hard. And their families cheer them on with the same intensity as those swimming moms do from your own country!
Sit there and watch those games for a bit. Aside from probably rooting for your “home team,” do you see those Chinese athletes perform and think about how they come from a “communist” country with no free press and a undervalued currency? What about those Aghan athletes? Do you think about how hard their living conditions must be? No. And that’s the point!
When the Closing Ceremony comes around on August 12, you’ll notice that the athletes will enter the stadium as one giant, intermingled group. There will be no divisions by country as you saw when they marched in on Friday night. And that’s a beautiful thing. We are one species sharing one planet. So why not love thy neighbor? Why not talk to someone whose different than you? I bet they’re life is pretty interesting! That clump of athletes is a picture of diversity, just like the world is! Aside from fair competition, they have no animosity towards each other because of things that governments do! That’s truly how most people in this world really are!
I love the Olympics spirit. I love what they stand for, pitfalls and all. I may not be a sports fan, but I love the Olympics for the same reason I love to travel! It shows off the best of humanity! So I’ll be watching as much as I can this time. And you better believe that in two years, I’ll hooked on my TV once again!