The Coolest Moments of the Olympics...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

the olympics stand for something so much greater than any one of us. i remember coming to that realization for the first time while watching the winter olympics in lillehammer, norway in 1994. it's an idea that is easily lost in the shuffle of current day politics and utter bullshit. iraq, iran, myanmar, north korea, france, etc. and the unsolicited opinion of the united states being shoved down the throats of the world. all of the hatred and misunderstandings. all of the differences of opinion. but at the opening ceremonies of the olympics in beijing, it was simply people of many nations, gathered in unity. when the athletes of the countries that i mentioned earlier entered the stadium, you could hear the hesitation in the voice of the great bob costas; only to be changed each and every time by the welcoming jubiliance of the awaiting crowd. praised for fighting the good fight. for struggling through the political, religious and personal adversity that was poised to hold them back. they all we all made it. "through the fire, to the limit, to the wall." to remind ourselves to live in the day and take care of our own. to remind ourselves what PRIDE really is.

i personally, don't think that these olympics could have come at a better time for our country. in a time of such uncertainty, where we ourselves are faced with facing our own diversity. our unstable economy and the denial regarding it, the rising numbers of homeless and jobless americans, and the never ending mudslinging of our "great" political system; all in the face of a people to hungry for change. and so, i have decided to make a point of watching and even celebrating our achievements in beijing at least once a day, but that doesn't just mean gold medals and world records. it means recognizing the humanity of the games and the camaraderie between nations.

humility is the subject of the first photo today. when i watched this happening on tv this afternoon, it sent shivers down my spine, and it wasn't meant to be noticed. i have always appreciated the rare occasion when i see someone of celebrity status do something that makes me realize that they are actually human. you know, when you have never seen a person in the flesh, and all you do is see photos of them on the news and in the tabloids, they can seem very unreal. but today, as the women's fencing event came to a close (an event that was swept by team usa!), former president bush shared a special moment with an olympian. after the medal ceremony awarding the first gold, silver and bronze medals to our athletes, the three young ladies were greeted by the former president who had been watching the event all morning. he posed behind them as their families and the press took photos. after the photos were taken, bronze medalist becca ward turned around and shook his hand, at which time she was overwhelmed with emotion. as the tears began to fall on her cheek, president bush reached in his pocket with his free hand and handed her his handkerchief, without hesitation. a mark of a true gentleman. regardless of anything else, he gained my respect today.

the baltimore bullet has done it again. winning his 9th career olympic medal today. he faces the added pressure of breaking a 36 year old record for most medals in a single olympics, yet he does it with a pride and sportsmanship that is unparalleled. it's exciting to have such pride in someone that represents our country, and i must say i am full of it. i'm a phelps phan.

i was really surprised to hear that george w. was the first u.s. president to attend the opening ceremonies of a foreign olympic games, and regardless of his actual intentions, that is commendable. he and his wife, "why you should never run with scissors" laura, also attended michael phelps' gold medal swim yesterday, where they proudly waived their american flags. it's funny to see them in the stands with no visible security, and sitting amongst commoners. i have included below the photo, the actual caption that was posted with it on nbcolympics.com. it made me laugh.
"President Bush waives his flag in celebration of the gold medal victory of Michael Phelps in the 400m im, after First Lady Laura Bush corrects him for holding it backwards."

photos from: [www.nbcolympics.com]

3 comments:

John personal trainers Austin 12:43 PM  

George appears to be really enjoying himself. Why not? He has the best seats and access nobody else has - practices, team meetings, riding the bike course.

Hot Tub Lizzy 2:16 PM  

Okay - How cute is George Sr in that picture???

TONY a.k.a. i sWEAT bUTTER 2:22 PM  

i know, he's like a proud papa!

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