The Olympic Spirit

I'm sitting here waiting for the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies to begin. I've convinced the four year old that these are going to be some of the coolest shows she's going to watch in the entire universe. I'm sentimentally patriotic and a hopeless romantic all rolled up into one. I always mist up at the national anthem playing in the background with the flag rising to frame one of our athletes. I also love the stories behind the athletes. The legally blind Korean archer who set a new world record, the Japanese equestrian who happens to be Buddhist monk, the sprinter with two artificial legs . . .

It's my mom's fault. I know that. She always watched the Olympics. It was a big deal in our house. My brother and I were gymnasts, never anywhere near the Olympics, but we did have dreams of gold. The same dreams of every young athlete. I know what it's like to stand on a balance beam with the crowd looking on and feel your heart in your throat. I remember the pain of strained muscles, sprained ankles and  broken dreams.

No matter the state of the world, or local politics I love the idea that the world can come together, even in this limited sense to celebrate human achievement. I love the idea of the flame of competition and brotherhood being passed from hand to hand around the world. Here in the US and in Illinois the politicos are acting like little kids who can't share the same sandbox. It's wonderful to watch the Olympics and see the world come together.

Gotta go--it's starting and they just showed The Globe.

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