I love the Olympics.
I especially love the Winter Olympics. Perhaps because I’m from a state that has many winter games. Perhaps because I love to ski. Perhaps because Steve Holcomb, driver of the U.S. 4-man bobsledding team (who won the gold) proudly displayed his spandex racing suit to the world. Perhaps because (finally!) something beat American Idol in the ratings.
Or maybe there is more to it……
We live in a scripted, perfect, air-brushed world. Our entertainment is rehearsed, packaged, reviewed, rehearsed again….flawless.
The Olympics are not perfect or scripted or air-brushed. The snow does not fall. The snow falls too fast and too much. The torch pillar does not rise. People succeed beyond our expectations. People fall. People get injured and yes, sadly, people even die.
It’s uncontrolled. No matter how many trucks of snow you import into Cypress Mountain, there are some things us humans cannot control.
It’s kind of like life.
And it was those life stories that touched me and reminded me that no matter how strong we are, no matter how many hours we train, we are not infallible.
I cried when Georgia marched out during the opening ceremonies without their beloved luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Alexandre Bilodeau, mogul skier, became the first Canadian to win a gold medal at an Olympics held in Canada. He immediately thanked his brother and best friend, Frederic who has Cerebal Palsy.
I cried again.
I cried when Joannie Rochette skated after her mother died. I cried when Lindsey Vonn took the gold. I cried when fellow snowboarders paid tribute to rider Kevin Pearce.
I have gone through five boxes of Kleenex.
I have also found a new favorite sport….the Biathlon; incredible athletes, rifles and skiing. You finish, you toss your cookies and collapse in a heap. You just can’t airbrush entertainment like that.
Every two years we are reminded of what we as humans are capable of. What our amazing bodies can do. We are also reminded that we are all blood, tears, muscle, nerves; vulnerable and yet so very perfect.
In two weeks, Vancouver will host the paralympics. Even more unscripted, un-airbrushed, raw, amazing, life changing stories.
I will need more Kleenex.