Are you watching the Olympics right now? I am a huge, huge, huge fan of the Olympics! Every evening my eyes are glued to my TV as the events from PyeongChang are shared with the world. I get so excited every two years when the world comes together to compete in these games. (I realize that the Olympics are every four years, but having both the winter and summer Olympics, we get to experience them every two years.) And, I love them both equally. There is just something so magical about the Olympics.
Now, when I say that I am huge fan, I do NOT mean that I know every sport or every athlete or even get to see everything or understand it all. I am not a fan in that sense. The reason I am a huge fan is two-fold: 1) I am a sports fan. (I enjoy sports of all types in general.) and 2) The Olympics are about the only time and place that I know of, where the world comes together as one.
Let me say that last part again. The world comes together as one. If you check out www.olympic.org, you can see the list of countries that have National Olympic Committees. I just counted them and there are currently 206 countries who actively participate in the Olympics! This blows my mind! Reading through this list, I am more than a little embarrassed to say that there are a lot places that I have never even heard of. (**As I hide my head in shame.**) These countries either have athletes currently competing, that will compete in the future or who have had competed in the past.
If you do watch these games, or any Olympics, you will witness some of the most extraordinary, yet simple acts of human kindness and love. To me, this is the very heart of what the Olympics are about. Sure, there are exceptional competitors whose talents and skills are astonishing, who are the best of the best at what they do. That is why they are here in the first place. Sure, all of these sports that are played are just a game. But, if you take a closer look, you will see that there is so much more to the Olympics than meets the eye.
Being a good sport, team player, and showing compassion for others take front and center stage at the Olympics. But, what is even better than that, is that most of these athletes help each other and lift each other up, no matter what country they are from or what “team” they are playing for. It doesn't matter what your nationality is. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. At its most basic level, it is simply people caring for, rallying around, and helping other people, period. Read this wonderful article by Brandi Awad and you will see exactly what I am talking about. Perhaps this is where the term “Olympic Spirit” comes from. (Also, if you are as tender-hearted as I am, grab a tissue before you read this article and watch the video links in it.)
Even if you don’t see any grand gestures like the ones highlighted in Brandi Awad’s article, you can still see athletes hugging and congratulating each other at each event. It is evident that these athletes genuinely care about each other and are just happy to be on this world stage.
This is why I love the Olympics so and get so excited about them! It is always a refreshing and much needed break to be able to observe good things happening around us. Right now, the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics are that breath of fresh air we can all use. The closing ceremony takes place this Sunday, so there is still time to get in on the action. I urge you to watch, if you haven’t. You will be glad you did!
Also, just as a funny aside, I have to share this little story from Chicago. A TV station there used a graphic for the Olympics that had P.F. Chang’s on it instead of PyeongChang. My husband, who may be the biggest fan of P.F Chang’s on the planet, thought that was pretty funny. I thought so too. Humor is also always much needed in our world today. And, I will happily take it where I can get it! :D
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.