When a person is young, the 4 year gap between Olympic games seems like a lifetime. This time around, it seems like just last week that Vancouver hosted these winter games. I was able to take in my fill of viewing due to lack of work these last two weeks. I enjoyed every minute of the competitions. The only downside, in retrospect, was the time difference and hearing the night's results on my radio alarm at 7 am. (Well, OK. The other downside was all the advertising)
Being the big hockey fan that I am, the highlight of the Olympics for me was the hockey and I was not disappointed. Gold in both men's and women's hockey is perfect, but the women's final game was some of the most exciting and inspiring hockey I have ever seen.
The Olympics brings out the best in the athletes, but also brings out the patriotism in the citizens of every country competing. My heart was swollen with pride over and over again and to see the joy and relief on the faces of the Canadian medal winners warmed me greatly. I have always been a rooter for the underdog, the one who works, dreams, strives, and overcomes obstacles to achieve something great in his or her life, and then reaches the goal. I believe it is a God-given thing to be like that.
But anyone who was good enough to be there as a competitor was already a winner. When the difference between 1st and 30th place is fractions of an inch or a fraction of a second, one could theorize that they are all on par with each other. There should be no shame in not medalling. The friendly completion and the life lessons that the athletes learn are almost always stepping stones to other achievements, usually in the field of sport as an announcer, coach, or mentor.
Yes, billions are spent, but I think and hope that the Olympics are a unifying force in our global community. In going against each other, we become closer. A paradox, but one we can all live with.