Each country in this world has its own ideals, culture, literature, politics, leaders and language. Each country has its own traditions, history and cuisines. Each country in the world is so diverse from the next one, that sometimes it may feel like stepping into another world during a visit. But there is one thing that unites each country to each other, and that thing is sports.
Sports are one thing that each country can relate to, and every four years the world comes together to watch. The world cheers together in the same place, and the people of the world flock to see the games live. Those games are known as the Olympics.
During each Olympic Games thousands of athletes from all over the world compete in many different events, and the Olympics are held biennially, where summer and winter games alternate.
More than 200 nations participate in the Olympics every four years, and it is the elite of sports. Athletes who have been chosen to represent their countries wear their flags and the Olympic rings with the highest honor.
I feel like the great thing is, though, that each time the Olympic games are held they get BIGGER and BETTER, and I think these Summer Games in London right now are the biggest and best that have been held thus far.
As I write this blog post, the medal count for the United States is 18 gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze – and that astounds me. And that is only 7 days in. In just 7 days the world has seen the two greatest male swimmers in history (and my opinion) battle it out day-by-day in the pool and witness history as Michael Phelps won his 19th medal to become the most decorated Olympian in history. The next day Phelps broke another record (by beating out fellow American Ryan Lochte in the 200M IM) for being the first male swimmer to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics with the 200M individual medley. This is also his last Olympic games, and will retire after his 100M butterfly swim, and it will be a big moment for him, and for the United States.
While media may like to spin it as Lochte living in the depths of Phelps’ huge shadow, the Floridian has his own name for himself. He has a total of 11 medals over his career, making him second among all male Olympians, and causing him to only trail behind… You guessed. Michael Phelps.
Not only are the swimmers a huge story in these Olympic games, there are many others of course, but the “Fab Five” is one that should ring a bell. The five-piece USA women’s gymnastics team became the golden girls of the Summer games, and further put the United States higher on the board.
Also, my new favorite commercial is featured at every break during the prime time showing of the games. It features Ryan Lochte, of course.
I don’t know why I am so in love with this commercial. Maybe it is because it is about Lochte, or maybe it is specifically for this scene as he is swimming into my favorite city in the world thus far. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It is an awesome commercial.
But now back to my original thought.
So what is it about sports that brings people together? We, as Americans, and we, as humans have such a strong visceral connection to sports that sometimes is unexplainable. The Olympics are proof of that. We experience mental connections with our favorite athletes, and forage bonds with these people that we have never met, but feel like we know.
Sports provide similar feelings that religion does, and I don’t mean through worship, I mean it as a sense of belonging. Religion provides an outlet for people with the same belief sets to come together as one group, as a family. Sports do the same.
The Olympics, and sports in general, provide a healthy outlet for competition as well. While we may not be the ones playing the games, we know that we are represented in Team USA. In the Olympics we have people to root for in every sport, and release out competitiveness through our representatives.
All I know is that I feel that connection, and I have never been more proud to be an American.