Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Fever

I can’t tell you when I started to really enjoy watching the Olympic Games, it could have been when the Summer Games were held in Atlanta in ’96; I don’t remember watching before then. The flame was carried through my hometown that year, but I was on my first overseas trip and missed the event. The pictures made it seem like it was a great time though.

As I've mentioned before, I’m not one to watch a lot of sport; I’d rather be playing or at a live game, otherwise I have a hard time getting into it. I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Whenever the Olympics come around though, summer or winter games, it is the only thing I watch. And, even though I am not in my home country, this year proves no different.

The 2012 London Opening Ceremonies were a treat to watch, I loved the flow of the story being told and the history behind each scene. Starting with the green fields which transferred to the factories of the industrial age before moving onto the rich history England has in children’s literature, I was glued to the screen not wanting to miss a minute of the show. I loved how they used the hill to display the participating countries’ flags and was pleasantly awed when the petals were lit and rose to form the flame.

It is an interesting experience to be in another country during the games. There are differences, obviously, in how the events are broadcasted. The events I have normally followed have been harder to keep track of, and sports I rarely have an interest in seeing have been all over the TV. It has given me a better appreciation for these sports, but I want to follow my team and know what they are doing. Thankfully they have an app for that and I have been able to catch up on what medals we won.

Me with my homemade American flag!

I have to hand it to Team GB, not only have they been bringing home medals, but you can just take a quick glance at their kit and know they are part of the home team. I think it was a great idea to have such consistency in design throughout the various sports and wish Team USA would have had the same notion; it would be so much easier to follow my countrymen and women instead of constantly scanning for my flag or another symbol to indicate what country they are representing.

As the Games come to a close I can’t help but become a bit melancholy. For the past two weeks the world has come together, putting their personal feelings aside for pure enjoyment of sport. This hasn’t always been the case, but I’m glad we have been able to come together and celebrate the truly spectacular athletes and cheer our countries on to glory.

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