Going for Gold
It’s almost that time again. Olympic time. Time for people to unite around sports we’d never normally watch, and to cheer for people that many of us have never heard of, until now.
My brother wrote about his pending jubilation for the events, but his interest is more on the athletic side. Mine is more an interest in the social aspect. A chance for people around the world to put their normal sporting alliances aside and to root for their home country.
Yankee fans and Red Sox fans alike, all cheering in one unanimous voice, chanting “USA”. It’s a nice change of pace, especially during election season. With all the mud slinging back and forth, it’s nice to have one thing we can all gather behind, even if that thing is Freestyle Swimming.
Speaking of aquatics, remember that household name from four years ago? Although the past few years for Michael Phelps has been peppered with some minor indiscretions and Subway commercials, for the past few months he’s been training heard, chasing another record. This time, it’s for most medals ever won but an olympic athlete in any sport. Pretty impressive stuff considering the average “life” of a professional athlete rarely spans multiple olympic games.
Another highlight will be the US women’s Volleyball team who will be chasing their 3rd olympic gold medal inas many games. Kerri Walsh and Misty May won gold in 2004 and 2008. They return to attempt an unheard of third olympic career win. Something that would be quite impossible for, say a gymnast, due to the amount of time between the summer games.
A 14 year old competitor competing this year would be 26 years old by their third games. Also, it’s not as if you get to sit back and relax for 4 years. You must keep in top physical shape if you plan to compete at that level again, even if it a long time away. Much like riding a bike, you never really forget how, but you’ll also never be a pro rider without some regular practice and persistence.
While we don’t know how these former medalists will perform this time around, one thing is certain. There will always be amazing stories of amazing people. People who often times had to push through extreme circumstances to stand on the world’s stage and represent their country. Best of all for a few weeks, Democrat and Republican affiliations become a secondary title to the most important one of all, American.