Spectrum of Humanity

If a holiday occurs once a year, an event that occurs once every four years must qualify as a “super holiday,” right? Naturally, I am referring to the one, the only, the quad-yearly Summer Olympic Games. If I get excited about things like “free sweet tea day,” you better believe I get a little psyched about the Olympics. If tears are any indication of excitement, then I’m already five times as excited as I typically am for any given occasion.

Simply put, this seventeen-day extravaganza mystifies and intrigues me. The sacrifice. The beauty. The power. The pain. The unity. It all leaves me dumbfounded, speechless, and emotional.

Watching the Parade of Nations, I heard Matt Lauer comment on the “spectrum of humanity” present at the games. Indeed, the cavalcade of color is simply magical. And while each garment and costume varies nation to nation, the variations between each athlete are not so apparent. I see people with hair like mine. I see people with eyes like mine. I see people with smiles like mine. I found myself wondering why a swimmer from Chile would look so much like me or why a cyclist who looks Asian would be representing Poland. Perhaps the distinctions between color are harder to discern than I once thought.

I also found myself intrigued by the random snippets the commentators interjected as the athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium (to the melodies of Adele, U2, the BeeGees, and other such British artists). Moldavia has the highest literacy rate. Over 80 countries have never medaled in the Olympics. San Marino is completely surrounded by Italy, making it an island. Uganda is known as “the pearl of Africa.”

Personally, I’m rather enjoying flags flying across my television screen, rather than political sentiments. The Olympics engage the hearts and minds of billions, and I deem the games a “super holiday” indeed.

Running low on Kleenex,

Kelsey

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