Bring on the Olympics!!
I will never forget the pandemonium and celebration in GM Place on July 2nd, 2003 when Jacques Rogge made the announcement that the 2010 Olympic Winter Games had been awarded to Vancouver. Now, here we are: the Opening Ceremonies are days away and I feel about ready to jump out of my skin with excitement!!
I have been an Olympics fan for as long as I can remember, and no matter what the sport - I always enjoy the spirit of the athletes on their quest for personal best. It's about giving it your all and risking everything for that one big moment, and then letting the chips fall where they may. It's always dramatic, and gutsy.
For sports, the Olympics are about as big as it gets, and the stakes are high. Even as a spectator - I find myself breathless and on edge, feeling the adrenaline in the air as I watch a figure skating Pairs team do a throw, or watching a downhill skier fly down a mountain at 140+ km/h, or a snowboarder flipping and twisting off the edge of a halfpipe...how on Earth do the athletes ever manage to control/allow/embrace those nerves?! I am always amazed and inspired.
The top 3 are the only ones who walk away with "hardware" - but what's in it for everybody else? What about those who "almost qualified" for the Games and missed the opportunity to represent their country on the biggest stage in sports by the tiniest of margins? Or those who trained their whole life and then got injured leading up to the trials? What are they to learn from daring to take the proverbial 'road less traveled' and come up short? There must be something bigger at stake that makes the journey worthwhile.
The message for them, along with the rest of us, lies in the Olympic Creed:
After all, isn't that the one thing any of us remembers at the end of the day, no matter what we are pursuing - the story of what it took to doggedly pursue and commit yourself fully to a meaningful goal? To have dared to put yourself out there and take a chance? That is the stuff of life.
The athletes coming to compete in Vancouver are the best in the world at what they do, and no one gets there alone, or without discipline and sacrifice. They have dared to be extraordinary each day, believing that someday their moment to shine would come. For those who have made it this far, welcome to Vancouver! We honor you, and we salute you.
Let the Games begin!!
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