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The Olympic Spirit: Captivating the World and Promoting Interconnectedness

Joined: 2/21/2014
Posts: 3
The human spirit rushes forth as a warm, pulsing, unstoppable wave. It’s speeding down the slope with a sweeping gaze of grins and eyes and palms and breath. It’s the synchronized heartbeats, the knowing glances, the sparkling eyes. It’s the families leaning off the edge of their sofas from Asia to the Americas – eyes bulging, fingers crossed, hands grasping knees. It’s cheering for your country’s team and cheering for your country’s rival’s team and cheering for every team in between. It’s all those beautiful, colorful, fluttering flags coming out one by one. It’s that one brave girl from Malta on display for the whole world and holding her chin high. It’s getting injured before the games and still wearing a smile because hey – you made it this far. It’s the crowd staring with bated breath at the embodiments of human achievement and grace from every corner of the world, and the athletes staring back, eyes gleaming. It’s surmounting the insurmountable – be it a disability, a status, or even gravity. It’s innovation; it’s pushing yourself ever harder, ever faster; it’s falling and getting back up; it’s collective effervescence. It’s the Olympic Games.

With the onset of the Olympic Games, the ever-dominant partisan bickering and international tensions tuck themselves away – or, rather, they are shoved out of the spotlight – at least for a little while. The world’s eye is elsewhere. Heartwarming and captivating stories of the athletes’ victories and defeats, backgrounds and new experiences flood mass media and news shows as billions are entranced by their new favorite national celebrities and role models. Records are broken and limits are tested as athletes from the farthest reaches of the globe vie for the gold in the competition of a lifetime. Seventeen days splash and flip and race by. My favorite part of the Games, aside from the incredible and incessant pushing of the boundary of human athletic achievement, is the gathering of the world’s flags, faces, and tongues under one roof (or sky) in the spirit of friendly competition. If you show up to Dodger stadium in a Giants jersey, you’re in trouble, my friend. But the beauty of the Olympics lies in its diversity – in its concordance. You can (and should) root for whichever team you wish unabashedly, and many root for athletes from sundry backgrounds. We universally wince when an athlete falls and universally applaud when he succeeds. In this sense, while some argue that the Games promote factions by pitting countries against one another, the mere act of drawing together the multitude that the Games do, and having a new country host the events each time, fosters not only amicability but symbiosis. The true spirit of competition is one of acceptance and interconnectedness.

Then, as all things do, the Games come to an end. The squabbling of political strife regains its throne in the heart of US affairs, and world business is as usual. Worldwide, old and new athletes scramble to train for their next big shot. Human spirit can wait for another two years. It always does.
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