Few are the circumstances or events that have the potential to unify peoples across national, ethnic and social lines. Although no attempt is perfect because there always seems to be naysayers, I still believe that the Olympics are one of our best efforts in bringing the world together.
What other opportunity is there that brings over 11,200 people together, from 206 different nations or territories to compete in 339 athletic events, 33 sports that represent 50 disciplines?
Seriously! In my opinion, when the Olympic Games are at their best, they are a force to be reckoned with in promoting global unity.
So, after a postponment from the summer of 2020, the 32nd Olympiad will be held this month, from July 23 – Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a huge Olympic fan, who had the honor of attending the 1984 Games in LA, as a dream come true! So what can we expect in these games?
There are five new sports this time, they are: skateboarding, karate, surfing, sports climbing, and baseball/softball. New names to watch in these sports are: the 16 year old CA girl, skateboarder, Brighton Zeaner, who won the X games at 13, and the 17 year old, CO rock climber, Colin Duffy.
Other young athletes to watch are the youngest Olympian in competition, the 12 year old, Syrian table tennis competetor, Hend Zaza. Japan is also sending young ones, a 12 and 13 year old who are both in the hunt for a medal in skateboarding.
The US’s oldest competetor is 57 year old, 7 time, equestrain, Philip Dutton. While our youngest representative is 15 year old, Katie Grimes, a top contender in the pool on the swim team.
Our women’s gymnastics team will be headed by our brilliant Simone Biles but also on that team is the oldest woman’s gymnist, Makayla Skinner, who is just a tad bit older than Simone.
Other US athletes leading the way in age, are 44 year old Abdi Abdirahman, a runner, with 4 previous Olympics to his credit and the oldest basketball player, Sue Bird, who at age 40, will play in her 5th Olympics.
Team Canada will be sending the largest contingent of 371 athletes and coaches. But in my opinion, isnt’ it more inspiring to see those countries with a handful of competitors marcing in?
The ancient Olympic Games were first held in 776 BC, when an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their city-states to Olympia safely. The big draw was a single race, called “the stade”, which was a short sprint. The runners were only men and they ran nude. No girls were allowed to attend for that reason. So many gathered from surrounding city-states to see the “stade”, the venue was named the stadium. Yes, our word stadium is derrived from the stade of the ancient Olympic games. Cool, right?
I am well aware that there have been controveries and protests through the years, banned nations and suspended athletes, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water, shall we?
Let’s celebrate the unity of nations for 2 weeks, shall we? Not for the sake of NBC’s 7.7 billion dollar contract but for the joy of sport.
Let’s celetrate those medal recepients, because they have worked hard and made great sacrifices to achieve their goal. We can also celebrate those medals because Japan had a campaign from 2017-2019 to collect old devices to melt down the metals to make “everyone’s medal”. A total of 6,210,000 phones were donated to make those Olympic medals.
Our support and celebration is so very important. It is so sad to me that Tokyo has declared a state of emergency, due to Covid again, and therefore NO SPECTATORS are being allowed at the venues. Even the outside venues, like marathon, spectators are being asked NOT to cheer!
What in the world is going on here??? Imagine YOU are the competitor, acheiving the goal of a lifetime, with no one to audibly cheer you on. Yes, TV cameras will catch it, but cameras are silent.
Not me. I will be cheering. I will be excited about those who are striving toward bringing the world together.
Won’t you join us?
Cheers to you,