Last night they had the closing ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics. And, like the opening ceremony, it was pretty amazing.
I was saddened by the fact that they’re over for a couple of reasons. In addition to just loving the Olympics, I was thrilled that for 2 weeks now, there’s actually been something good to watch on TV. Don’t know about you, but I don’t want to watch someone survive, or that thinks they can dance or even wants to be the next top model. I am so tired of reality TV that I’ve pretty much given up on evening television. I’d rather read a book.
But, for the last 2 weeks I’ve enjoyed watching TV. There’s just something special about watching the best of the best compete for a medal. About seeing these athletes rise above everything and compete at the highest possible levels. It doesn’t even matter what sport they’re showing I’ve watched as much as I could. Gymnastics, women’s softball, freestyle wrestling, track, swimming, baseball, all of them…. (except maybe that dancing with the ribbon thing, that’s just silly)
The other thing that I love about the Olympics is that every 2 years, there’s a point in time where you can almost forget just how screwed up this world is... We put aside the differences, the politics and the distrust and we just compete. The athletes and the competition are able to take us out of our current lives and help us see something better.
As a kid I can remember the whole family watching the US hockey team beat the best in the world against all odds. I remember watching Sugar Ray Leonard, with a picture of his girlfriend taped to his shoe win a gold medal. I remember seeing the American gymnast Kerri Strug hurt her ankle on her next to last vault and still win a gold medal. And I can remember being so disappointed the when we boycotted…
This year was no different. The drama and the excitement as Phelps broke the record set by Mark Spitz so many years ago. (yep, I remember seeing that one too), the US swimming relay team winning on the last leg (after France had tallked so much crap), The US men's volleyball team winning after their coach's father in law was murdered...so many amazing stories.
Of course it’s not all perfect. There were questions and concerns about Chinese gymnasts, scoring biases and questionable calls, but overall I loved it and can’t wait till 2012…..of course now that we’ve heard that China invested almost 40 BILLION dollars in this year’s Olympics, where does that set the bar for future countries???