I have to believe there are few people who meet the Olympics with such great anticipation. My first recollections of the games was back in 1972 (I was very young!). As a babe, I missed the horrors of the Munich Olympics. What I do recall? Olga Korbut’s gymnastics performance and Mark Spitz’s great accomplishments. Each and every Olympics, winter and summer, offers wonderful moments, large and small.
My boyfriend, while very athletic, doesn’t have the fondness I do for the Olympics (except for the unusual watersports, like water polo, which are dominated by his Hungarian countrymen). In any event, I convinced him to watch the opening ceremony with me last evening. Beyond the hype of how this ceremony would stack up against that jaw-dropping event in Beijing four years ago, I was struck by some of those oft-repeated remarks made by journalists and Olympic commentators. The parade of nations offered up 180 delegations, I think, many of which will post few, if any medals, at the end of the 17 day celebration. The various, former colonies, territories, commonwealths and generally remote outposts may have little hope of winning medals, but they do offer up several gems. First, of course, this will be an unusually amazing experience for their athletes, in whatever field they may compete. And, this beautiful parade reminds us that even though we focus on the “big” countries (USA, China, Germany, etc.) that will top the medal count, our wonderful world is a much richer and more exotic tapestry of different cultures, languages, customs and people. Just another reason to love the Olympics!