Olympics Are Here!!!
After a five year wait the summer Olympics are finally back. I for one am a big fan of the Olympic Games whether they are summer or the winter games. I enjoy turning on the TV and rooting for my country in a wide variety of sports, most of which you can never find on television.
Whether it be track and field, gymnastics, table tennis, badminton, or a long list of other hardly publicized sports I enjoy watching them all. I enjoy watching all the athletes compete at the highest level and fight to win the right to stand on top of the podium and hear their countries national anthem play. I will admit that over the years I may have shed a tear or two watching an America stand there and become overcome with emotion as the medal goes around their neck and the hear the Star Spangled Banner.
The first Olympics I remember were the 1992 games in Barcelona, Spain. I was getting close to being seven years old and I remember everyone making a big deal over the basketball team and it being the first year professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics. Of course we all remember the 1992 Dream Team as they were the greatest baseball team ever assembled, although LeBron has tried over the years to assemble his own dream teams in the NBA. Those guys were just dominate and the world never stood a chance. Over the last few decades however the rest of the world has closed the gap considerably in the talent department, but still there is no excuse for the US to not win the gold in both Men’s and Women’s basketball.
I was almost eleven when the Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996. This time I was really invested in the games. The torch even made its way through Union on the way to Atlanta. It stopped briefly for a rally at Union County Stadium. State Championship Coach Shell Dula ran the torch into the stadium and I was amazed about the thoughts of all the places the torch had been since leaving Greece in route to Atlanta.
The 96 games were amazing. The number one thing that stands out in most peoples minds when we remember those games is the women’s gymnastics team and their quest to win team all around gold. I was with my family at the beach when we watched an injured Kerri Strug land on one leg after flipping over the vault that gave the Americans the win. I remember that feeling of pride all these years later. Yes as an almost eleven year old boy I got emotional and shed a few tears, and yes as a thirty-five year old man I feel a lump in my throat now thinking about that all these years later.
The Olympic Games have the potential to be such a memorable event for all of us. I am sure we all have memories of past Olympic Games and watching those whether in person in Atlanta if you were lucky enough to go, or on TV like most of us do every time they are on. Can the Men’s basketball team find their footing after a bad start and win the gold? Can Simone Biles become the greatest Olympic Gymnast of all time? Is there another Michael Phelps? How much butt can America kick? How in the heck do those guys hit those ping pong balls like that?
Do yourself a favor watch the Olympics, get invested and root for America. No matter the sport. USA!! USA!!!