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Olympic Dreams



Olympics: Wrestling-Men's Freestyle 60 kg-Bronze Medal MatchPhoto Attribution: US Presswire

Tidying up with a couple of Olympics-themed posts today then back at it with football tomorrow.

I am a hopeless romantic.

Really, I am. Maybe not so much in the traditional sense, but Webster defines romance in the following four ways:

1. A love affair.
2. Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people.
3. A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.
4. A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful.

One and two are questionable (my wife is nodding her head) but three and four? They can be gleaned from me in about as much time as it takes XLK to house a bacon and cheese biscuit from McDonald’s.

Heck, I weep every time I see this.

This is probably why I love the Olympics so much. There’s so much emotion, so many thrilling moments and galvanizing people tossed into this two week cauldron of heroic activity…it’s too much to take on sometimes[1. Thank God we have Bob Costas and his “yes I’m DEFINITELY coloring my hair, they just gray the ‘burns a little bit for effect” hair to sort things out for us!].

And we measure our lives by these events, or I do anyway. The stages of my life have evolved as the torch has been passed from Barcelona to Hotlanta to Sydney to Athens to Beijing to London.

When Rio is here I’ll probably have kids, have moved on to another era of my existence on earth.

So when each two week extravaganza culminates, I get this thing in the pit of my stomach. This feeling that I don’t want the celebration to end. Because I know if the celebration doesn’t end then that means time has stopped and I get to revel in the month or year or whatever I’m currently experiencing. I get to cheat the only thing in life we can’t cheat.

Life is so fast and that is seen nowhere more than it is in the Olympics. It feels like yesterday when baby-faced Phelps was lighting the world on fire outside in Greece. The Michael Johnson double in Georgia back in the 90s? It might as well have happened last week. And that Lezak 100 in China? Never leaves my head.

But we have to leave these things behind, just as we do different parts of our lives. We molt our personalities and our friendships and our occupations the same way a snake does its skin. And we move on with memories of what happened and a romantic ideal that it meant more at the time than it actually did.

We move on with a collection of thoughts about the night Bolt housed the world and waved his finger to let us know it, the delightful laughter of Missy and Gabby, the daggers Alex Morgan rained down at Wembley, and the embrace between two OSU-lifers, medal secured.

It’s not fun, it feels empty, but we always move on and we hope that what happened, what we did or what we watched, still stands epochs from now the same way it did the moment it happened.

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