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The Olympic Spirit: Olympic Inspiration

Joined: 2/26/2014
Posts: 1
My first memories of the Olympics are hazy and unclear; more flashes of color than actual names or placings. Even so, I do recall that afterward I was left with an impression of awe. And while the simplicity of my childish mind could not wholly comprehend or put into words what exactly had awed me, the feeling remains as potent as ever and now, over 10 years later, I have the words. Simultaneously, I have gained a greater grasp of the technicalities of the Olympics. One might think that what seems to be a glorified international sports festival is just that, but in the reality the Games have become more than just an arena for athletes to test their skills. There is for one, the fact that countries of all different sizes or ideologies set aside their differences to compete together. In times of peace, the Games are a symbol of unity and remind people throughout the world of the courage and perseverance that many people possess; traits that defy race, gender, or chosen religion. Beyond the meaning that the modern Olympics has attained, there is still at it's core the athletes themselves who over the course of Olympic history have not ceased to inspire and give hope to countless people. Through them, the world is able to witness and record the personal triumphs of humanity at its best. These triumphs are unique in that they are gained through neither violence nor foul play but through the noble sacrifices individuals make for the sake of their dreams. The Olympic spirit then, is not one of competitiveness, national prestige, or even unity. Rather, it is characterized by the purity of struggling to achieve one's aspiration and the beauty and sweet gratification of finally attaining it. When an adult who once relinquished the aspirations of their childhood in exchange for more rational alternatives look upon the Olympic athletes, they are without exception struck by nostalgia and by longing for the distant past where they were free to dream without inhibition or limit. On the other hand, a child who has yet to lose their naivete or experience the full effects of life looks upon the Olympic athletes with a different reaction. The awe that I felt so completely that day was born both out of admiration and idolization of the people, not much older than myself, who dared to dream and the innate but unspoken realization that one day, I as well would have to make a choice. Both decisions have the potential for great happiness and great sorrow, but one of them, the choice to follow a dream no matter how far fetched, offers a jubilation and satisfaction that the other cannot hope to reach.
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