The 29th Olympiad

There must be something else going on that's making me a little emotional, but every time I've watched the Olympics in the past few days, I've begun tearing up. Sometimes it's during a particularly spectacular win, sometimes after a crushing mistake, and sometimes when folks are just going about their business of being incredible athletes.

It's amazing how inspiring it all is. I'm in awe of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson and Michael Phelps. In fact, I'm in awe of anyone who can make it to the Olympics. Sometimes I dream of becoming a champion curler and going to the Olympics but, fortunately, I have better things to do.

Maybe what makes me most emotional is the possibility of unexpected things. Every event has a favorite competitor, but sometimes, the impossible happens and some unknown from Burkina Faso or East Timor sets a world record or bumps a favorite out of contention. These small triumphs of the human spirit give me hope.

I'm not a huge fan of sports, but when the Olympics are on, I'll watch almost anything, including synchronized swimming and stopping just short of ice dancing. I love the stories. I love the interviews. I love the looks on the faces of parents and coaches and competitors.

There's been lots of discussion about the location of the Olympics this summer. I can certainly understand the impulse to denounce China, given its record of human rights violations, etc., but I can't bring myself to boycott these games as some have urged. Watching doesn't indicate my support of China's political structure, but rather my support of the athletes and enjoyment of the competition.

As it is, I'm going to keep watching, keep cheering, and probably keep crying.

To quote one of my favorite movies ever: "PARLE VOUS OLYMPICS!!"
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