There are many things I like about the Olympics. First of all, I admire the athletes. These individuals have worked extremely hard and trained for years to earn the right to compete in these games. This means they swam laps, ran on a track, lifted weights, rowed a boat, jumped hurdles, swung a tennis racket, rode a horse, or did flips on a four-inch wooden beam virtually every day for years! While most of us were still in bed in the morning, they were at the gym, pool, shooting range, field, or track practicing, practicing, practicing.
I admire their common goal: they all want to stand on that podium and hear their national anthem played. But even if they don’t win a medal, they all have the satisfaction of knowing they are among the best in the world in what they do.
I’m also fascinated by the wide variety of competitions: synchronized diving, rowing, skeet shooting, judo, beach volleyball, basketball, archery, water polo, running, pole vaulting, canoe slalom, weight lifting, to name a few. Some competitions are more popular to watch (like gymnastics and diving, for me), but all competitions require incredible skills.
But what I like best about the Olympics are the opening ceremonies. I love the special effects and the pageantry. This year I was mesmerized by the depiction of the rise of the Industrial Revolution, by the celebration of England’s many contributions to literature and music, and by the Queen herself parachuting into the stadium with James Bond! The sight of thousands of people working together to produce such beauty makes me wonder: What other kinds of beauty could we humans produce together if we put our minds to it? How about world peace? Or what about saving our planet?
The Olympics aren’t perfect. For one thing, the “playing field” is far from level. Imagine, for example, what resources the US athletes have compared to athletes from countries such as Palau, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar. I also don’t like keeping track of which country wins the most medals. Who cares? I say. I’m proud of every athlete who participates let alone wins.
In short, for me the Olympics prove that people can come together from all over the world for a worthy, entertaining, and fun-filled endeavor. At the opening and closing ceremonies, when the thousands of athletes march in behind their nation’s flag, I always get a little choked up. I really love the diversity of people, flags, and attire. And I pray that in the future, we, the human community, may “march together” on this earth in ever greater peace and harmony.
Do you like the Olympics? Why or why not?