I put a question mark at the end of the title of this blog for a reason. I imagine when some people find out I love to watch the Olympics (especially the summer games) they might go “really…the Olympics?” As a girl living with muscular dystrophy who is completely unable to do anything even close to a sport (and forget doing one at an Olympic level), it may seem strange that I’m so drawn to something I can’t relate to at all.
But my reasons for loving the Olympics aren’t really rooted in the sports portion. Of course I love to watch those last two seconds of a swimming relay, clenching the sofa with my hands hoping that Ryan Lochte will win his next gold medal for the US. More so than that though, I just love seeing the world come together for a few weeks, in peace and harmony, and compete for a similar goal. The Opening Ceremonies make me cry every year and this year was no different. Seeing that parade of athletes come in from so many different countries, some from places experiencing extreme hardship, civil war and political dissent but for that one night and for these few weeks, they can forget about all that and simply compete. They can walk into that Olympic stadium, smiles beaming and proud for the chance to represent themselves and their country in such a prestigious event.
I think the Olympics are a fantastic symbol of what can happen when people come together and share a common goal. What happens when we realize we are all a lot more alike than we are different. Suddenly wars don’t seem to matter as much. Political divides don’t seem quite as wide. Instead, it’s just one person competing against another on an even playing field. Each one trying to show they’re the best and win that gold.
That’s a pretty incredible and pretty powerful thing. Here’s to the 2012 Olympic games and the amazing athletes from all across this incredible globe!