I am a self-admitted Olympics junkie and have spent the better part of the last two weeks either watching the Games, or searching online for information about the Games. Maybe that’s your jam also, or maybe you are someone who rarely watches because after all, summer offers our own opportunity to participate in any number of sports, but I thought I would take a moment to reflect on this year’s summer Olympics.
For most of my life I have loved learning about sports that aren’t otherwise part of my world and this year’s Olympics offered a plethora of choices like skateboarding, BMX, surfing, and mountain biking. I will never do any of those sports and yet it’s easy to see how they have developed such a rabid following across the globe. This statement will show my age, but the youth who pretty much developed these activities have somehow showed all of us that these have become legitimate sports and not just kids messing around. Those “kids” are now Olympians and, seemingly overnight, they have become role models for every other kid who is learning a trick on their bike or how to skate a rail.
That’s the beauty of the Olympics. These athletes, many of whom toiled and trained for years in relative obscurity, have now been brought into the spotlight for the entire world to see. Win or lose, gold medal or finishing in last place, they showed us what true grit and determination and sacrifice can do. They are the best of their sport and in many cases, the very best of us.
These men and women showed us the love they have for their sport and for representing their country. Even when bested in their quest for that elusive medal, they exhibited sportsmanship, compassion, and pride in their fellow competitors.
The updated Olympic motto translated from Latin is “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”. This year’s Olympians, no matter what country they represented, truly epitomized that motto. For seventeen days, they brought together a world that is still reeling from the devastation of COVID-19 and from the Opening Ceremony to tonight’s closing one, reminded the world that when we work together, we can be so much better than when we are apart.
Once all the pageantry is over and the athletes have returned home and the cardboard beds of the Olympic village have been recycled into something new and innovative, let’s try and remember how it felt for these seventeen days to be together as one.
Be well my friends…