Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 -- The Olympics

I love the Olympics unabashedly.  I really do.

I don't love our extremely biased COVERAGE of the Olympics, but I love the Olympics themselves.

In 1996, Coop and I went to the Olympic games in Atlanta.  We had an amazing time.  That trip has stuck with me all of these years because of one thing: how intact the actual spirit of the games is when you're there in person.

It's easy to get jaded and think that the arrogance of the television coverage reflects the arrogance of the games themselves.  That the soundbytes of churlish athletes lamenting their second place finishes speak for everyone.

It's just not so --or at least it wasn't when we were there in 1996.  The collective goodwill of the people in the stands, who rooted not only for the best athletes--regardless of nationality--but also for the last place finishers because those contenders were still the best athletes their countries had to offer.  Because coming dead last in a track and field heat is still better than most of the athletes in the world.

Because the human spirit is indomitable.

Oscar Pistorius, Kayla Harrison, Jessica Ennis... just some of the modest champions with huge stories of grace and adversity.

I love the Olympics.

***************************************************

Remember how I was so embarrassed when I pulled that muscle in my...um...posterior that I couldn't really talk about it? Today, I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my groin.

That's all I'm going to say about that.

Seriously.

3 comments:

Bailey said...

Whenever you are ready to tell us all how you pulled a groin muscle, I'll be here.

Ann in NJ said...

I guess I'm numb to the incredibly Amerocentric television coverage - I find there is more coverage of offbeat sports and other athletes at non-prime times (I've been DVRing the middle of the night coverage). The thing that really gets me is the extended story segments about stuff like "the first "Dream Team" in Olympic basketball". Seriously? When you could be showing me pole vaulting or hammer throw or mountain biking or ... you're wasting your very expensive Olympic air time talking to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird?

psam ordener said...

If you think our TV coverage is bad - let me tell you about BBC during the 1968 Olympics. I was living in a hotel in England, waiting for an apartment to open up, so I watched TV a lot. The Brits didn't have a lot of medal contenders that winter, but every British athlete got face time on TV. Maybe he or she came in 17th, so they'd interview the Brit athlete and talk about the magnificence of his effort and then, as a sort of afterthought, post the list of finishers. USA might be first, and USSR second, but we heard about them only in passing. All the coverage was on the Brit athletes and if you just watched BBC, you'd think they had swept the Games!