Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beijing Olympics Come To the Finish Line

When the Olympics come to a close, I feel how I did when I was 9-years-old on Christmas night. Man, a whole year until Christmas again. (Okay, I still feel that way about Christmas.) The Olympics end and I think, man, four more years until it's the Olympics again.

Four years until the World gathers around televisions to watch the action in London.

I am relived that the Games went off without a major incident. I had a bad feeling going in that there may be some sort of attack. While China does have a lot of work do to when it comes to human rights and quality of life for their 1.3 billion residents, you have to admit they put on a helluva show.

These Games were quite something. From the magic of Michael Phelps to the US basketball team reclaiming gold. Track and field was wild. Gymnastics was entertaining. If not a bit scandalous.

What we saw in Beijing was the continued Olympic spirit. All walks of life coming together to show the true meaning of competition. Last night I watched the marathon. That storied race of endurance and courage. At about the 18 mile mark, when the field had began to spread out, the leaders vying for coveted medals, I saw something noteworthy. Two of the leaders from Ethiopia and Eritrea, two countries that have had border disputes and even a war, sharing a water bottle. It's possible those men's families hate each other. But there was a mutual respect for one another as they competed. That's the Olympics to me.

Four more years. Dammit, when is the World Cup?