The Olympic Games

Paul Morrone |

I have always been a sports kind of a guy. In my younger days I played basketball, football, baseball, racquetball or whatever sport was in season. These days a competitive round of golf is about as active as this old body can handle. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy watching sports of all types and follow certain teams in their respective seasons. Watching the competitiveness at the college level and how the players are playing just for the sake of winning is exciting to me. The professional athletes do play at a superior level but there tends to be a sense of arrogance for some of those professionals brought on by success, huge contracts and endorsement deals. That brings me to the Olympics.

The global excitement that centers on the Olympic Games is unmatched by any other sporting event. Also, the pride of the athletes that are representing their countries is very evident by the expressions on their faces as they parade into the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremonies. The wonder of who will be the next break out star winning the sought after gold medal is on all their faces. The team competitions as well as the individual performances for the various events results from years of training and sacrifice for the athletes and coaches. Many athletes have been pursuing and achieving lifelong dreams to compete at such a level and be center stage along with the best of the best in their respective sports or areas of competition and physical challenges.

The Olympic Games for me is the only time I watch certain sporting competitions. Some of those events are swimming, two-person team beach volley ball, ping pong, track and field as well as gymnastics. Within gymnastics there are so many events that show the unbelievable strength, agility, balance and focus of the athletes that it is mind boggling. How these athletes throw their bodies around during the floor exercises, the vault, the balance beam and the various parallel bars and rings is amazing. It is a true testament to their determination to be the best they can be. There is the team pride and the individual efforts in each category where team members compete against each other as well as part of their overall team effort. There is no one sport or event that is my favorite because they are all amazing. In the end it comes down to that extra effort that these athletes draw from within to earn that extra fraction of a point or their speed is a faster by a hundredth of a second and that little extra is the difference between the gold, silver or bronze medals.

What also amazes me is watching the actual medal ceremonies. Seeing the emotions on the faces of the athletes as they stand on the podium, representing both their countries and their individual efforts gives me goose bumps. Some fight back the tears of joy and some let the tears just flow. It can only be imagined what they feel inside as they reflect on all the hours of preparation in hopes of accomplishing what they have earned.

The irony is that all the athletes that make it to the Olympic Games are winners already, even though they may not come home with a medal.

Until The Next Tom’s Take…