Wednesday 17 August 2016

Olympic Dreams

I have been watching the Olympics from Rio on and off for the past week and bit now. Louise is the real fan in the family and I just wander in every now and then and catch the final or semi-final action in whatever sport happens to be on at the time. I suppose that if I wanted to, I could spend the entire time the Olympics are on in front of the TV. I don’t really want to, not because it isn’t compelling TV, but because I really need to do other stuff.

I have trouble understanding just what drives these super human athletes to dedicate their entire young lives to their particular sport. Most athletes will never make it to the world stage but they will dedicate hours every day training to reach their peak performance level. I envy them and pity them at the same time.

I think it is unfair to put the nation’s hopes for medals onto their shoulders when we as a country have done little to get them to the world stage. Well, we haven’t done enough certainly to take any kind of credit for how they perform. It is unfair to add the burden of winning when in my mind just by getting to the Olympics they are already winners. Oh, we do like a winner.

When I see just how much these games cost to put on, I wonder if it is worth it. Most games run into the red and the host countries are saddled with facilities that are underused for the most part after the games. If those facilities are kept up it is a boon for the countries athletes training for years to come. The benefit of Olympic Games cannot be measured in dollars.

Today when I was driving home from somewhere, I noticed three little girls playing in a local field. They were doing cart wheels and one even did the splits (ouch). They may do this all the time, but I can’t help but think that their behaviour is directly linked to watching gymnastics done to perfection at the Olympics. I suppose that is the real payoff, future athletes dream of what is possible. Awesome! 

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