Saturday, August 9, 2008

O is for Olympics

I love the Olympic games. I love the pageantry that comes along with it from the opening ceremonies with the raising of the Olympic Flag, the Parade of Nations and the Lighting of the Olympic Torch. 
The Chinese know how to throw a party the Greek Gods would be honored to be invited to. The performers all 15,000 plus of them were amazing. The hours of practice it must have taken to be as precise as they were, is incredible in a "we can take over the world anytime we want" kind of way. It was a little scary to be honest, and if I were Dubya sitting there watching, I would have been a tad intimidated by it all. Be afraid George, be very afraid.
The fireworks or rather the "pyrotechnic display" was unbelievable...of course the Chinese did invent them, but still.

I did discover how geographically challenged I am. I can't tell you how many countries I've never heard of much less be able to tell you where on the globe they're located. Some of these countries have only one Olympic athlete. The hopes of an entire country resting on the shoulders of one Olympian. A heavy weight to carry to be sure!
I love the way they incorporated little kids into the opening ceremonies. Especially that little boy who walked in beside Yao Ming, star NBA player, carrying the flag for China. This little boy was 1/3 of the height of Yao and was so dang cute. He was a survivor in the recent earthquake in China and after freeing himself, went back to help free his friends because "it was my job, I was hall monitor". Cue the tears.

I was all choked up watching the athletes parade in, their hopes evident with the smiles they wore on their faces. Most of them will never where a medal around their necks, but the sheer joy of participating is what it's all about. They will forever be able to say, "I was an Olympian".
The Olympics for me is full of weepy moments and the little side stories of the athletes, their political struggles, their ability and drive to train under the worst of conditions and circumstances. I wish I had half the drive they do.
It is impossible for me to hear the Star Spangled Banner and not feel a little choked up. I will be cheering for Dara Torres who, at 41 freakin' years-old will be swimming for the gold against athletes half her age. This will be her 5th Olympic games. I can't even imagine. Where does a person find that drive that's required to compete at that level. I hope and pray that she's doing this legitimately because if not I will be so let down. Sad we even have to consider that possibility.
But when all is said and done and she's standing up on that podium with a gold medal around her neck I will be singing the S.P.B. right along with her, a gold medal for her, for our country and for 40-something-year-old moms everywhere! 

So as the rest of the world cheers for their athletes, I will proudly be cheering for ours. 


Daisy said...

The opening ceremony was amazing. I loved watching the parade of nations; the country costumes were fascinating.

AmyJo said...

I love the Olympics too and like you get teary eyed lots during them. I am however sorely disappointed in the amount of our athletes that do NOT sing the National Anthem. The other night Phelps and one of his relay teammates were actual mumbling to each other. I realize he's an amazing athlete but it really annoyed me!!! AJ