Olympics Weekend Play
I love sports – that’s no shocker, right? If you talk to me for more than a few minutes you’ll learn that I love G-d, I love my family, and I love sports. Oh yeah, I’m also a writer. However, you might not know how much I love the Olympics. The Olympics only come along every two years, so they aren’t on my mind day-to-day like the 160-game baseball season, but their rarity is also what helps makes them so special. The winter Olympics only come along every 4 years, making them even more golden for this writer, who loves winter sports so much that I set a whole book around skiing (That’s Trails Merge for those of you who missed it). Yes, I am that rare soul who loves the winter Olympics more than the summer Olympics. I love snowboarding, and skiing, and curling, and hockey, and well, all of them. I just love winter sports, I love everything about them, I love them more than I love . . . whoa sorry I’m spazzing out a little bit. I just can’t contain myself.
However my sporting spirit is trumped during the Olympics by my human spirit. As corny as it sounds, the power of sports to bring us together is greater than the joy found in any one competition. Tonight nations from around the world will march into beautiful Vancouver, Canada with flags and heads held high. The athletes and spectators will share much pride in their homelands, and yet they’ll also be reminded that we are all part of something bigger than our own borders. Athletes whose nations are at war with each other will stand shoulder to should while the torch is lit. Women athletes will stand on equal footing as male athletes (A woman from the Islamic Republic of Iran will carry her country’s flag ahead of the men in her party). Members of some of the poorest nations in the world will take part in one of the richest experiences our world has to offer. And political leaders will put aside the harsh rhetoric that divides us and for a short precious while to focus on the things that unite us.
The Olympics are a time when we get to focus on everything that is right about, sports, about human beings, and about the global community. The Olympics are a chance for me to hope, and dream, and believe again. The Olympics offer a brief glimpse of what the human race is capable of. For all the reasons I love the Olympics, the pageantry, the competition, the camaraderie, one reason stands above all.
What I love most is that the Olympics are more than a reminder of what human beings can do, they are a reminder of who we can be.
Let the Games Begin!