Normally, I am not much of a sports fan. Growing up with four athletic brothers, at one time I was. But then I married a man who really doesn ?t get into that stuff, and I ?ve gradually drifted away from my fanaticism. Until ?
From the opening ceremony (awesome!) I ?ve had one eye on the tube whenever the Olympics are on. I find myself cheering during really obscure events (go water polo!!), and feeling the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
I screamed out loud the other night when the USA men ?s relay team won their swimming event. What a race! Even my husband was screaming. We were so excited! And last night I almost came to tears when the USA women ?s gymnastics team just could not pull together a victory.
So I ?ve wondered what it is about the Olympics that turns me into a fan for those few weeks. I think I ?ve decided that it ?s because a lot of these competitors were just average people who found a God-given ability and made the most of it. I look at Shawn Johnson (women ?s gymnastics) whose parents had no gymnastics background, but put her in a class because she had so much energy and they wanted an outlet for that. A coach saw the potential in her and here she is, an Olympian! That, to me, is inspiring!
I ?ll admit, I even get brought in to the sappy vignettes that they show. I ?m a sucker for that kind of stuff.
Of course, you always have the downside of sport too the cheating, the doping, the lip-synching in the opening ceremonies. But overall, it is a time when I just really enjoy watching these athletes who have honed their craft. I tip my hat to all of them for working so hard. While I ?m definitely cheering for the USA, I am inspired by the athletes from all nations who give their best and don ?t give up.
It ?s a lesson that applies to real life, for me: Whether we are an Olympic athlete or a stay-at-home mom, we can work to use the gifts that God gave us to be the very best we can be.