Anybody else as excited as I am for the Olympics? I love love LOVE watching them – from the opening ceremonies to the raising of the next host country’s flag, I’m there…so you know I’ll be planted in front of the TV to watch the commencement tomorrow night. I don’t get to travel much these days, and for three weeks, the world comes to my living room. I’m also sucker for a good parade, so the Parade of Nations is fascinating to me….almost biblical in scale, there’s something particularly moving about the many peoples coming together in one place under one banner. I recently read about the flagbearer for the U.S. team, and am proud that he’ll be leading our athletes into the stadium tomorrow night. (file that under What Makes America Great)
As hyped up as I am about these Olympics (the competition! the culture! the architecture! the spectacle! the music – oh, that music!), I am disheartened that the U.S. didn’t boycott the games this year. With at least 200,000 dead in Darfur (China provides weapons to Khartoum); and Tibet and Taiwan still struggling for freedom (among China’s countless other human rights violations), it doesn’t seem right to quietly support it by going. I mean, we boycotted the 1980 Moscow games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, didn’t we? I guess time will tell if we should have boycotted these games as we should have for the Berlin Olympics in the ’30s. Money & politics….sigh.
I sound like a maniacal sports fan – I’m really not (this, college football and the ‘Madness are my three exceptions)….but there’s something about the athlete’s stories, the human struggle, sacrifice, hope, unity and competition acted out in the arena that keep me coming back every couple of years. Light that torch!