I know. It’s crazy. I actually have something other than Disney and the college program on my mind. And that something is the glorious Olympic games being held in Rio.
I have always been a sucker for the games. I’ve read Michael Phelps’ books multiple times. I used to (and still do) stay up for all of the prime time coverage and the extras, including those special little news features about athletes who overcame adversity through insane courage and persistence. I even have the Olympic theme music on my phone; I bought it in the eighth grade and have never looked back or regretted the impulse buy.
I think my obsession might be in-sync with the country, and, perhaps, the world. Every time an Olympics rolls around, the world watches with fervent passion and consistency. We become fiercely patriotic, even if it is just for a couple of weeks. We become invested in all of the athletes’ backstories. We buy magazines with athletes on the cover and a little section devoted to the Olympian-tested workout. We Tweet about the Olympics, post lengthy Facebook statuses about the Olympics, and Instagram about the Olympics.
Why do we love the Olympics so darn much?
I can tell you why: even if you do not realize it, we love the Olympics because it showcases human spirit and tenacity. Athletes finally get their reward after years and years of hard work and sacrifice. Even if athletes do not win a medal, it is amazing to think that they are able to represent their country in a positive light.
We see ourselves in the Olympians–we crave reward, we know about sacrifice in different aspects of our lives, and we want to represent our country and our families in a positive way. The Olympics showcase classic stories of success through hard work; to see the happiness and realization of a dream coming true is addictive. We keep coming back for more and more.
I was absolutely loving watching the women’s gymnastics team clinch gold the other night–their happiness was infectious, and I found myself smiling from ear to ear. They were young women causally achieving their childhood dreams of gold. We were a nation casually united for one purpose–to encourage and to praise the “Final Five,” the golden girls.
That’s another thing I love about the Olympics: for two weeks every four years, our country becomes just a little more cohesive, united. Our world becomes a little more united as well; sometimes I just choose to root for an athlete because of their story or the way they carry themselves. You recognize that athletes, no matter what country they are competing for, are just athletes.
I don’t know why I started writing this in the first place, but I think I’ve come to some conclusion–the Olympics bring out the best in a lot of people. Athletes, citizens of the world, and dreamers everywhere. Thanks for existing every four years, Olympics. You used to fuel my competitive fire, and now you fuel my human spirit.
Happy watching, everyone!