Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympic Fever

Dear Em,
The Summer Olympics in London has been going on for over a week now, & we've really been enjoying watching in our house. We almost always have it on in the background. I've learned more about cycling & some of the other sporting events than I ever knew before. Half of the competitions feature sports we never cared about before (badminton?!), but it's fun to learn more about each event & watch people go for their dream.

We've also gotten a little attached to some of the competitors. They've been featuring them all in different segments, & it's fun to learn a little more about where some of the Olympians come from & who they are. I find myself really rooting for certain individuals.

This year's swim team has been so fun & charismatic. We've loved watching their "Call Me Maybe" parody on UTube. You've become attached to the song as we've become attached to the athletes. You call it your song (after listening to the song on repeat, it's a hard one to get out of your head).

You get so excited to watch the different events. You jump up & down & twirl around in excitement. Your eyes sparkle as you shout "USA!" If only, ballet was an Olympic sport. That would totally make your day. We've found the girls events are your favorite. You yell, "Girl power! Boys are stinky!" I'm sure Daddy hopes you feel that way for a long, long time. 

With as much fun as we're having watching the Olympics this year, there are some things I've noticed that have made me a little sad. The commentators talk about the competitors before the event as if someone has already won. There is no sense of "anything can happen in the Olympics." No one seems to believe that anyone could rise to the challenge & anyone could crumple under the weight of stress. When someone unexpected wins, the announcers make it sound as if there was some kind of mistake. At one event, I heard an announcer say about one of the medalists, "she didn't even have any business being there." When one of the competitors who the commentators have labeled as the certain winner come in second or third place, the commentators talk about them & to them as if they are losers.

I just think it's so sad. These competitors have given up such a huge part of their life to prepare for this moment. I love to see team USA come in first, second, or third, but I can't help but be happy for whoever it is to win each event. To see the emotions of those who win the gold...no one should try to take any part of that from those competitors. Even if they weren't the favored athletes going into each competition. Plus, second & third place of all the people in the whole world doesn't sound that bad to me. Why are the silver & bronze medalist being treated like they lost?

It makes me sad about the message that is being sent to you & the children in your generation. I hope that you know you are capable of doing anything, & not limited to what the people around you think you can do. Just like in the Olympics, anything can happen in life. When you combine hard work & heart, you never know what can happen. And if you don't come out on top? That's really OK. Sometimes the it's more about the journey than the results & how you get back up & continue on. I don't want you to ever think that number one is the only place to be.

So, even though it may not be what we're seeing from the commentators on TV, we'll keep cheering for all of the Olympic wins...expected or not...Gold or Silver...or Bronze. We'll keep delighting in the dreams realized & the human stories.

Girl Power!

I love you so,

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