It's so hard to talk about the Olympics without tossing out cliche after stereotype, all dripping red, white and blue, especially with the closing ceremonies just yesterday, but I'm going to try.
(Credit Image: © David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)
I love the Olympics. But here's a confession: I watch the Olympics with the sound off. I could go forever before I again listen to some guy in a business suit comment that an adolescent gymnast, gosh, didn't quite stick her landing like she could have. Really, dude, you have an opinion?
I love the Olympics -- but not even because the sports are so beautiful, although the athletes and their extraordinary skills so often are. Even the sweatier sports are -- powerlifting. Boxing. These bodies-as-blunt instruments are just as impressive to me as the swimmers, sprinters and, of course, the Fierce Five gymnasts.
I love the Olympics because I love the raw courage of the athletes. At some point in their early lives, each of these athletes decided they were going to transcend their own limitations of mind, body and soul and just GO FOR IT. Without a net. With a huge statistical likelihood of failure -- I mean please, to shoot for being the best in the world? Picture little Michael Phelps at age 9 or Gabby Douglas when she moved in with her host family. The sign flashing in their heads for years was: Me vs. Everybody.
Gutsy. It's the only way to live -- passionately devoted to the few things that matter to us. Every four years these brave athletes remind me to act on my dreams, to go for it because I want to, to believe in myself. And this year, with women leading the top three countries with the most medals -- USA, China and Russia -- I'm more inspired than ever.
How about you?
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