Every four years, or two if you alternate summer and winter games
Athletes from around the globe come together in one place to showcase their country, their talents, and their pride. The colors, the flags, the outfits, the skill, the determination, the hunger.
The opening ceremony is a parade of children, waving flags, hands, hats, smiling, sharing joy, beaming with pride. Every person walking, I find myself envisioning them as children. I’m sure there are at least a handful of people who can’t look past the grown human in front of them.
I love the Olympics. I cry, I cheer, I hold my breath, I jump up and down! I live for The Games. I don’t always cheer for the USA. It’s true, I cheer for everyone, yes I have favorites, who doesn’t, but I have respect for every single person who makes it. Win or lose. The first timers, the seasoned veterans. The officials and judges, the camera crew and their drivers.
I love the different events. And the back stories. Give me the stories about how they arrived to the biggest platform in sports history. They fought from poverty, the escaped with their lives, the had to hide their talent, they were told they couldn’t reach their goals, etc. Give me the guts! I want to love every single one of those people, I already do but besides the point, I want to cheer for them, I want them to run with their flag, I want to hear the song of their people. I want to see the pride and excitement wash over them.
There they are, the top three in each category. The flags are being raised, the sounds of different countries national anthems being played for the one with the gold. Tears of joy, pride, waving hands, flashing camera bulbs, the smiles, the roar of the crowd. That’s the rumble in the hearts of athletes. Play for the love of the game, give it all you have, eat, sleep, breathe, passion, sweat, blood, tears. all of it. the love of the game.
I wanted to play in the Games. I wanted to play softball or volleyball. I wanted to play my love all over the world and win a medal. I wanted to be the best. But, some dreams are not possible and that’s ok. That doesn’t mean I can’t cheer and scream and jump and shout and chant and what ever else to support someone else’s dream.
That might be the hardest lesson to learn, watching someone else succeed while you take the back burner. I can do it now, it’s taken a long time but I’ve learned joy and peace from watching others reach their goals. I cheer them on from afar but I’m going to be the loudest one in their section. As a parent you have to learn to take the back burner a lot, especially when your kids try new things and try to find their own feet and passions in the world, something that they can all their own.
But for now, I’ll be watching the world come together and cheer and shout and yell and chant. Hell, I might even samba, whoo! Look out, world!