The Summer Olympics kick off tonight! Just over two weeks of amazing feats of athleticism are ahead of us, and I have to admit … I’m so excited!
I became somewhat obsessed with the Olympics during the 2008 games in Beijing. I think it initially had something to do with the whole Michael Phelps potentially becoming the winningest Olympian in history (which, as we all know, did happen). Growing up, my dad always looked forward to the Olympics, so I’d usually watch a little swimming, gymnastics and diving, but usually I’d take 20 minutes and I was over it.
Something changed in 2008. I found myself rushing through my post-work workouts so I could get home to turn on the games. And it wasn’t like I was being picky about what I was watching – if it was on, I was locked in. I still remember one Saturday afternoon, sitting on the couch watching the marathon (as I was asked last night, who really watches the marathon? Apparently I do).
I was no better during the 2010 Winter Olympics, either. I am not, and have never had any desire to be, a skier, yet I couldn’t get enough of it. (I will admit, the obsession did increase somewhat because of a little – okay, huge – crush I developed on a Norwegian skier. But whatever.) Of course, those Olympics also had everyone I know obsessed with curling (Seriously? Curling?) and what Johnny Weir was going to wear next, so at least I wasn’t alone in planning my evenings around what sport was on at what time.
This year, I’m really not excited about anything in particular. I’ll watch it all. There is something just so incredibly amazing about the feats of great athleticism that the Olympians bring into our lives. While it’s true that many of their sports are not considered “traditional,” I think that is exactly what makes it so exciting to watch. These individuals have essentially devoted their lives to perfecting their sport, molding themselves into the best of the best. For me, as an athlete, there is nothing that could possibly be more inspirational. Witnessing their successes gives me something more to strive for in my own athletic pursuits, and watching their defeats serves a reminder that we should never beat ourselves up over an off-day, because even the best of the best sometimes falter.
Here’s to me spending a lot of the next 16 days in front of the television … and Go Team U.S.A. (and best of luck to all the athletes from around the world, as well)!