As the Olympic closing ceremonies draw near I am sad. I have spent the last 2 weeks glued to coverage of all kinda of sports such as ones I have always enjoyed like gymnastics and swimming but sports I have never given a second glance such as rowing, open water swimming and archery. I am tired….from staying up past my bedtime watching the coverage…even if I already know the results! I have been drinking in as much of these games as possible!
I watch these athletes and it is difficult to comprehend that at the young age of 16 they are at the top of their sport. The hard work, sacrifice and dedication of not only the athletes but of their familes is awe inspiring.
The fact that there are more women on the USA team than men and more women have won medals is amazing to me. I love that my daughters and girls all over the world are watching strong female athletes that are of all shapes and sizes. Role models that are not honored because they are beautiful on the outside but honored for their strength and dedication.
The highlight reels will show all the gold medal winners and heroes these Olympics but what will remain in my memory…and what we all need to focus on are the stories of triumph. Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia. She is the first woman from her country to compete in the Olympics and finished last in her event. She broke barriers. Oscar Pistorius who is the first Olympian to compete with blades instead of lower legs. He did not win a medal but changed the way we look at differently-abled athletes. He broke barriers. Oksana Chusovitina who competed in her SIXTH Olympics on the vault at the age of 37. Many of the medal winners in gymnastics were not even born when she competed for the first time. She placed 5th this year! She broke barriers. The German diver who landed on his back, the weightlifter who dropped the bar, the stories of athletes crashing and burning during an event….are things that we will not remember nor celebrate in the years to come but are what I find most inspiring. They are all just some of the stories that will fade with time.
So while I watch the closing ceremonies tonight with sadness, I hope the Olympic hangover will last for a long time…at least until the next Olympic games. Peace.