This week everyone (well everyone I see on a dailey basis ;) is (lady) gaga over the Olympics, and I'm no exception. It's probably the first time I regret not getting MSNBC (but only a tiny bit).
Why do we love the Olympics? Patriotism? Competition? Men in overly-bedazzled spandex?
I've been thinking about it all day and I'm not really sure why I love the Olympics. I thought at first it was because the athletes are just your average shmo people like you or I who happen to excel in a particular sport. But it's not entirely true. Many, if not all, of these athletes have been training since they could walk. They've gone to elite academies. They've been mentored by former Olympians. They were discovered, or discovered their dream, and their parent sacrificed everything to help their children follow said dreams. I also enjoy hearing their stories - getting teary eyed over hearing some random athlete's life story.
I do like that they are not billionaire superstars (except the men's hockey team...don't get me started....grumble grumble). They work so hard and literally sacrifice everything for that one or two shots at a gold medal. That level of dedication and passion is certainly to be admired.
I also like the continual display of global solidarity. I watch athletes of all sports hug their competitors at various finish lines. I love watching them hug each other as if to say, "we made it friend, we're moving on to the next round" or "you kicked my ass, but I'm proud to take 2nd place after you."
I'm still not sure what exactly it is that compels me to watch at least a little bit everyday. I suppose it's simple enough: I like being inspired. And I like thinking about what the world would be like if we all lived our lives like Olympians do every single day.
Yeah, I know, cheesy as ever, but that's just me. And I like me just the way I am. (cue Billy Joel)