What a pleasure to watch the Olympics. There's the whole 'Olympic spirit' thing and the fantasy that Sport will heal the nations*, which sure is a nice idea nontheless. There's the idea that these athletes have worked hard their entire lives to get to where they are. That they even get to compete is an honor, because these are the best in the world. Period. There's the hopes and dreams of nations with their national pride (yes, and nationalism) riding on the success of the athletes. The emotional side of the games...these are people competing, people with loves and hopes and fears and goals, just like us. It's amazing.
My family of origin is a sports family. I've seen so many Broncos games, Rockies games, Rapids games, and even Nuggets games on TV. Many in person as well. I must admit I don't really like regular sports. I don't get a lot of the rules and very little of the strategy makes sense to me. I don't like watching a game and having people yell and scream...yet for these games I've yelled and screamed.
Joannie Rochette, the Canadian women's figure skater who skated on even in the death of her mother.
Kim Yu-Na and her lovely, graceful perfection even in the midst of so much pressure from her home country.
The Chinese pairs figure skaters, Shen and Xhao, who finally won gold!
Steve Holcomb, the American bobsled pilot who A) isn't blind because of an amazing elective surgery and B) won gold by a large** margin.
Everyone has a story like these. And it's stories like these that make me love the Olympics.
*The Bible says that Christ alone will heal the nations. That's why I say that Sport healing the nations is a fantasy.
**He won by, like, half a second. That's hardly any time in the real world, but a giant margin in bobsledding.