I love watching the Olympics.
During the 2012 London Summer Games I was on vacation for the first week of competition. Staying at a condo near the beach, my wife and I spent the entire week doing the same thing.
We’d wake up mid-morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We’d get dressed and head down to the beach for the day. Once we had enough of the ocean, or if chased off by rain, we’d get dinner and retire to be delighted with amazing feats of athleticism.
Gymnastics has long been my favorite summer event. Just watching the things they can do boggle my mind. I remember watching with a friend long ago when we were kids just saying, Can’t do that! Can’t do that! the entire time.
Each night we laughed and sat with our mouths agape at the feats pulled of by those tiny gymnasts. I remember watching a blind Korean archer set a world record.
I don’t much care what the event is. I will sit and watch it. I watch because I love seeing people perform at the peak of their lives. I am seeing the best. Today alone, I watched a 15-year-old Russian girl dazzle me with her skating.
I watched as Marissa Castelli was dwarfed by her partner Simon Shnapir. Their height different is 14″ and despite only standing 6’4″ looks like a 8 foot giant on the ice. When he threw her into the air, I wasn’t sure if she would ever come down. They had quadruple spin in their program!
I saw cross-country skiers race across the frozen ground and collapse into a pile at the end. Even if you’re at the top of your game, it’s still exhausting.
I’ve enjoyed some of the downhill skiing, marveling at the skiers reaching 80 miles per hours. I am looking forward to the bobsled, luge and skeleton because I like to pretend that sledding is am Olympic event. I am really looking forward to the next two weeks of competitions. I want to laugh and cry and cheer with the athletes.
Despite pulling for Team USA, my favorite part of the games is when an athletes from the host nation is performing. The roar of the crowd is deafening. It has to be the most spectacular feeling of their lives. To be out on the ice or slopes in front of their countrymen. Just as I cheered for the Brits in London, I am pulling for the Russians in Sochi.