Olympic Dreams

OLYMPIC DREAMS

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the Olympics are getting ready for their grand finale. After the opening ceremonies, I’m not sure what spectacle the Chinese will create to outdo that at which we still marvel – perhaps have everyone in China stand on each other’s shoulders and juggle the planets – I just don’t know. What I do know is that I need a lot more sleep than I have been getting. All right, you say, you probably wouldn’t have stayed up past midnight to watch women’s beach volleyball if the players were wearing sweat suits, and I couldn’t totally disagree. And perhaps I watched too much of the gymnastic competition, for today when a man slipped on a water spill in the hallway, I found myself criticizing the lack of toe point during the airborne portion of his unplanned summersault.

 

There is undeniable beauty and grace in the efforts of these fine-tuned athletes to defy gravity, to soar with the ease of creatures of air rather than the lumbering of earth bound mortals, to move through water as though we belonged to the realm of Neptune, to glide across the earth with the swiftness of gazelles. I can’t even fathom the single-minded dedication to sport, to the elusive, and for almost all, never achieved title of “world’s best.” I’ve known two Olympic gold medal winners personally, and when I asked each, “Was it worth it?” the answer was always a resounding “Yes!” However, I never had the chance to ask the same question of anyone who trained as hard and as long, and not only did not win a medal, but never even made the team. Ultimately, the only fair competition is the one we have with ourselves. Have I improved from who I was yesterday? Have I done my best, reached my peak potential? Yet, we are hard wired to be competitive, for being so offers survival advantage, so I suspect if the Olympics hadn’t already been invented, someone would be sure the come up with the concept sooner than later.

 

I wish NBC’s coverage would have been a little more even handed, and we were given the opportunity to see other great athletes in events besides the ones where our own stood a competitive chance of winning. I also wish that someone who has just had their Olympic dreams crushed by a small misstep, or just by a better competitor, would respond to the leering commentator thrusting a mike in his or her face and asking. “How does it feel to lose everything you worked so hard to achieve?” respond by quietly strangling the person with the microphone cord to the cheers of the watching audience.

 

Finally, am I the only one who finds irony in keeping a medal count by country when winning athletes for the United States were born and raised in Russia, China, Romania, Germany, and when winning athletes from other countries lived and trained in the United States? I suspect that nationalism is far too strong to allow the performance of an athlete to stand on its own, but it’s a nice dream to have. Perhaps, even an Olympic dream.

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17 Responses to Olympic Dreams

  1. Duckie says:

    Hmmmmm  Put simply…….."Let the games begin."  But I do love our MA gymnists.
     
    Eileen

  2. Beth says:

    Excellent point of view Jorge!  Thanks!

  3. Charlotte says:

    hmmm, as my girlfriend\’s little girl said as she was watching the olympics with her mommie, "Where did all the ladies clothes go?"  Beyond that you have certainly, as usual, given a lot for us to think about.  I know from certain competitions that I have been in that were NOT olympic by any means that taking a hind seat after much work and consideration creates a sadness… 
     
    have a good weekend. hugs, lottemae

  4. Sarah says:

    You are so funny, so aptly describing the slow-mo fall sans toe-point of that hapless human in the hallway……..I too am curious what the Chinese will offer up as the Grand Finale…….whatever it is, it would be stupendous if they were to, say…………Free Tibet?

  5. Neora Chana says:

    It\’s hard not to respond to the kinetic genius of the athletes.  And I sometimes miss the days when the media didn\’t always look for scandals (the age of the Chinese women\’s gymnastic team for example).  There were also those other small touches that made the games special like looking for the volley ball player\’s wedding ring.  Thanks for looking at the games from another side.

  6. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,
     
    I also watched more of the Olympics than I normally would. Swimming, Gymnastics, Diving, Beach Volleyball ( yes even the women\’s..smiles ) These young athletes work all their lives to strive for the Gold. It has to be disheartening to them to not bring home the Gold..I don\’t care what they say to the media. All in all, it has been a great Summer Olympics phenominal.
     
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.
     
    ~Paula~

  7. Holy says:

    So true.
    I don\’t watch the Summer Olympics.  I\’m Canadian – we\’re hardwired for the Winter Olympics. (and so it shows in our summer medal count…yikes). 
     
    But I did catch a few moments here and there these past couple of weeks.  I certainly don\’t make a point of watching the American networks though – you\’d never know there was another nation competing other than the U.S. – no offense to America – but one has to admit, the coverage is rather biased.  
     
    My daughter caught the high dive event the other night and she gasped, "Mom, why is that guy only wearing his underwear?!" 🙂

  8. Sophie says:

    Hi,Jorge.I am glad that you come up with such ideas!
    One world ,one dream!
    You witness Beijing someday!

  9. Patricia says:

    then the olympics, now the political campaign for President…no slow news days in the near future…we\’ll be bombarded by speeches, commercials, commentary till we\’d elect a robot just to quiet it all down…we might be doing it anyway, huh?…lol…good Wednesday, Jorge…

  10. C says:

    I agree with everything you said! Thanks for the infromation:)

  11. KatSoup says:

    I love the olympics!  Winter, summer it does not matter.  It is great to watch the best athletes on earth come together. Remember my son is a tri-athlete.  I do miss some of the games that were foreign to me they used to show on TV.
    Good Post.

  12. KatSoup says:

    In reading comments:
    The media did not call out the age of China\’s gymnasts, the US coach did.  In my opion they were no 16 either.

  13. Charlotte says:

    Just stopping in to say hello and thanks for coming by my site.  It is always like a breath of fresh air to read that you have been there.  hugs, lottemae

  14. Gayle says:

    Ah, Jorge, you have the knack of saying what I\’m thinking.  I read your first paragraph aloud to my daughter and we shared a resounding evening laugh.  We both enjoyed the Olympics, spent morning after morning regretting our enthusiasm and evening after eveneing cheering for the dedicated and talented of varied countries – we are equal opportunity fans of great athletes.As always, I appreciate your words on the site.Gayle

  15. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
     
    I missed the closing ceremonies, but caught the opening and was awed by the spectacle – what could they possibly done to top that.
    I love the summer Olympics and I don\’t care what country they are from – it is a joy to watch excellence.
     
    Hope you are well.
     
    Betty

  16. Deborah says:

    I\’m still in awe by the last night of the DNC.  Yes the opening ceremonies in China were impressive, but as usual I missed the closing.  Hope you enjoyed it, and do try to catch up on your sleep.
    Blessed be

  17. Jana says:

    I was watching Olympics quite a lot also! Specially if there were some Czechs against the U.S. We usually lost. 🙂 But that was the only way I could see them on TV.  Can you still cheer for Hungary or you feel you are more American after all these years living in US?

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