“Um…why do you love the Olympics so much?”
I’ve been fielding that question with varying degrees of side-eye confusion since I was a toddler. Seriously. Elementary school was pretty much me pretending to be the world’s most earnest/most poorly coordinated little Shannon Miller
wannabe on every parking lot curb in America.
Me, circa 1996.
So, it’s taken me a few years to articulate my
Leslie Knope-level obsession
passion for the Olympic Games into this neat little list. In a nutshell, “What’s not
to love about the Olympics?!”
The stakes, quite literally, COULD NOT be higher.
Let’s break this down, shall we? The Olympic Games is like the Super Bowl, March Madness, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup all rolled into one moment. The stakes are the highest they can be except there’s no overtime, no chance to come back in the next quarter, and no Game 7 comeback. And, the entire globe is also watching.
They have to hope that their best will be a fraction of a point better or faster in that one moment than another amazing athlete from a different country. And if it’s not enough… that’s it. They may
have a chance FOUR YEARS LATER. Or they may not! Most Olympic athletes have 2-3 appearances at the Games during the course of their career!
The entire world is watching and it’s BEAUTIFUL.
Let’s be honest, the past few years have been overwhelmingly full of war, famine, and general all-around meanness. So, there is something so peaceful and utterly necessary about the Olympic Games. It’s a giant pause button that the globe adheres to. All of these athletes represent their own individual countries, but, they also represent this incredible moment of hope and unity — that regardless of what flag we wave, we are all citizens of the same globe. The opening and closing ceremonies are as close to Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’ harmony as we may ever get…so let’s savor the moment.
another country wins at speed skating, I may be bummed, but I also see the pure, unabashed JOY on the face of those athletes and their families, and their countrymen. The Olympic Games are shared human history and something we all get to claim and be proud of as our own.
Those commercials, those proud mamas, all those feels.
I basically am already a soppy mess of tears from opening to closing ceremony anyway and then I hear those “Thank You, Mom” commercials and I am dying. I’m just gonna leave these right here.
You got me again, P&G.
The ultimate underdog, comeback stories are commonplace at the games and so are warrior women.
I could leave it with Kerri Strug’s vault on a broken ankle
to win gold for our Women’s Gymnastics team in the 1996 Games…but I won’t. But, seriously, y’all, she RAN on a broken ankle, vaulted in the air, and stuck that landing.
Let’s talk about Lindsey Vonn
. She has literally been thrown around during downhill racing competitions and battled through multiple surgeries and rehab and people’s silly expectations to come back for her 4th
Or, Hungarian swimmer, Katinka Hosszú,
who fought back after a crushing medal shut out at the 2012 London Summer Games to compete at Rio four years later. She won more medals in individual events than any other swimmer in the 2016 Rio Summer Games. That’s right, it was not Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte or Katie Ladecky. It was Katinka. Mic drop.
An all-around incredible woman and unequivocal, athletic powerhouse who overcame a tumultuous childhood in and out of foster care before finding an adopted home with her loving grandparents to become the most decorated U.S. gymnast OF ALL TIME.
We are not worthy!
Now that you agree that the Olympics are amazing, here's what to do next.
You need books! I can only provide you with so much information. Here are some Olympics warriors, so you can continue your education.
Gymnastics: Gabrielle Douglas
and Simone Biles
Figure Skating: Scott Hamilton
Diving: David Boudia
Track and Field: Sanya Richards-Ross, Lopez Lomong,
and Bryan Clay
Thank me later.
Goldie is our resident Disney Princess. You can catch her covered in glitter, singing to puppies, and lovingly shaming the rest of us for not knowing the difference between the luge and bobsledding. If you'd like to test her on her Olympic knowledge (you'll lose), give it a shot below or in the comment section of our Facebook page.
HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., operates Page Chaser, the publisher of
Grace, Gold and Glory, Courage to Soar, Finish First, Greater than Gold, Chasing Grace, Running for My Life, and