Growing up in the sixties and seventies, I have vivid memories of staying up late, getting up early and just living for the Olympic broadcasts. All my life I’ve thoroughly reveled in the best of the best doing what they do best. Whether it’s Super Bowl, (this year excepted), the World Series, the World Cup, or the Olympics, I love every minute of it. I love the inspirational stories behind the athletes, the sacrifices they and their families have made, to bring them to the heights of excellence in their sport.
I have never cared where the Olympics were held. I lived through the murders of the Israeli athletes at Munich in 1972. If you want to watch an excellent film about the murders and the aftermath, I recommend you get Munich (2005). It has an amazing cast of talented actors and is a very powerful film. Munich changed the Olympics forever, but the games have improved protection for the athletes and have continued.
This year there does seem to be a lot of desire, in this country at any rate, to find fault with the way the games have been delivered to the world: because they are being held in Russia, because they have become a status symbol for Putin, and for the anti-gay stand taken so strongly by the Russian government prior to the games. I care about the athletes and the excellence each and every one of them demonstrates to the world. The point being missed by so many, is that sports and competition transcend politics. It’s about men and women, training hard for many many years, to gain the opportunity to represent their country in the sport they love. It doesn’t matter where they are from; they all have that drive to excel. I admit, I love to see American’s win, but an athlete from another country is just as compelling to me in their commitment.
The half-pipe was a mess, but Shaun White competed with many other athletes who did well on the same course. Shaun did not have a good day. I love the guy, his commitment and hard work is no less than Iouri Podladtchikov (Gold Medal winner) who represented Switzerland, but was born in Russia. Shaun was gracious in his disappointment, which makes me love him more.
However, to get to the point of my piece today, the Gold Medal goes to Johnny Weir.
“Who is Johnny Weir?” you ask. Well, he’s an American figure skater, 2008 World Bronze Medalist, a two-time Grand Prix bronze medalist, the 2001 World Junior Champion and a three-time U.S. national champion. This year he is narrating the ice skating competitions, along with Tara Lipinski, and doing an excellent job at it!! So I’m watching the ice-skating and I’m looking and this guy and I’m thinking…. why is he dressed so OVER THE TOP??? I kept watching him and each day it seemed like he got more and more flamboyant. Then, finally, it dawned on me. Johnny Weir is gay; and there he is walking around all over Russia, dressed, well, as he chooses to dress. My thought was, “God Bless Him”, I love him! For me, this is so much better than boycotting the games, it’s in your face and it’s such an American thing to do.
Therefore my Gold Medal goes to Johnny Weir.
Thanks for stopping by to read my post; I hope to see ya’s next week, for Life with Mo.