I was wrong about the Olympics
I wrote a bitter piece about the Olympics for this blog before the Games began and I am here now to say I was wrong.
I love the Olympics. A few weeks ago, I was deeply opposed to getting excited about the games but now I don’t want them to end. Remember a few years ago, (or a bunch of years ago depending on how long you’ve been voting), when you went away on a family vacation, feeling as though you’d been kidnapped, whisked off to some mediocre hotel in the heat of summer to spend a week with your parents and siblings. You dreaded the vacation that would take you away from your friends and the partially constructed fort by the creek, a project in dire need of your utmost attention. There was a girl, too, and you had just gotten a phone line in your room and she could call you and you could talk about the way the stars reminded you of her and play the I’ll-hang-up-but-you-first game. Then your parents snatched you away from the greatest summer moments you were sure you’d ever have. Later, three days into the vacation, having pouted it all out and stood on the balcony until the sun began to retreat watching ladies from afar, you decided to join your family on the beach. You let go and forget about the fort and the girl and her stars and end up having fun, a lot of fun, the kind of fun people have when they aren’t thinking about anything but having fun with the people who, genetically and by disposition, are just slightly different versions of themselves. I’m on the third day of a youthful summer vacation, of sorts, with the Olympics and I don’t want them to end.
I love America the way I love denim and biscuits. It’s one of the things I wake up for on my pyramid-of-motivations — akin to the food pyramid but less healthy. I love seeing people who have worked their whole lives peak at the right time, even if they did just do the best thing they’ll ever do at the age of sixteen. I love the Olympics and photos of the Olympics and the way Twitter is a-buzz with the Olympics.
Sure it’s still a parade of commercials and Nike logos and more commercials. Sure the tape-delayed coverage is bad — I’m on to NBC’s dirty little Nixon-like tricks, making the gymnastics take a full five hours in television time when surely it unfolded more efficiently over there. And, sure, I’m frustrated that I haven’t found a gambling advantage to knowing the results six hours before they get to America.
The highlights thus far are the women’s gymnastics (I know, I know. I’ll go outside and throw a football and tackle someone to make up for it later), the Morgan Freeman “Perfect” commercial and the sweet grey Nike podium jackets. Maybe we should be wearing red, white and/or blue, but we’re America, ‘Merica, and we do what we want (Wikipedia the post-WWII wars for more). I like that our men’s basketball stars are all over the Internet living a dream, not a Dream Team dream, but a fun dream, enjoying dominating the spirit out of every opponent. I love water polo. I love swimming.
The Olympics allow me to love things I will never try to do — things I would never think of trying. Sure I will get on a balance beam or try to hurdle my mass through the air off of a vault for the right price, but for now I’ll just watch in awe. I’m fully in awe of the Olympics I thought I’d hate because at the heart of every Olympic event is a human story, a person moving forward, running toward a goal to repay everyone who helped them get there. The Olympics move us because they’re personal triumph on the grandest stage.
Because this blog is supposed to connect to our business, I’ll say the Olympics are similar to where a company wants to get and Mottis is the tired days in the gym that help the company shine when the world is watching. We’re the getting there part. And when your day comes there will be no missed landings, no slips on the bars and, hopefully, no competitors dressed in sparkly leotards shooting insincere smiles from their little, overly made-up faces — looking at you, Russia.