Monday 6 August 2012


At the moment in our house we are experiencing full throttle Olympic fever. I will admit, the mild (ahem) cynic in me was slightly concerned that the Games would take over our fine city in an annoying and congestive way. To the contrary it has brought an incredible spirit to London and what’s even better, emptied the place out of all its residents who feared being taken over by tourists. 

For starters, the fact that the whole world comes together for something positive (fine, there are a few bad apples trying to spoil the barrel - yes I'm talking to you China Badminton team) is simply awe inspiring. Two hundred and four countries, and nearly eleven thousand athletes from all over the world come together to celebrate some healthy competition, hard work, and unbelievable talent. Even the cynical at heart have to love that.

Not to mention, you truly get to feel the struggle of these athletes that have been working for so long, sacrificing everything - and for some, it comes down to just a short moment in time (as some athletes only have one event. Can you imagine that?! Four years for one single event?) -  that means absolutely everything to them. When an athlete false starts and gets disqualified I have been known to shed actual tears. Come on, what’s a little false start for god sakes in light of four years of training. Four years, people!  The sheer emotion in these athletes – not to mention the graciousness when they win or lose – is palpable. I thought the British rowing duo was going to have to be hospitalized after winning the silver medal not from exhaustion, but sheer devastation that they did not bring home the gold. You wanted to hug them through the television set. (It turns out one of them had to be carried off from exhaustion, so I suppose it was a bit of both).

It goes without saying that watching the Olympics is quite an inspirational affair. Never have I felt so out of shape and compelled to go running around my park in my life. And of course after watching the men run the 10,000-meter race, I woke up the other morning and did just that. Okay fine, I only made it 3 miles (they run 100 miles a week in training apparently) and almost hurled up my cereal, but damn it, I felt inspired. And of course watching the juggernauts like the U.S and China battle their way towards gold is an awesome sight (GO USA), but it’s the smaller countries that I find so much more intriguing. The countries like Bhutan with only two athletes proudly flying their flag, or the countries like Saudi Arabia who are finally permitting female athletes to compete (okay, that statement also makes me shudder, but hey, baby steps at this point). Or the South African runner with prosthetic legs who runs alongside the fastest men in the world. Seriously, if this doesn't inspire you to do something, anything, I don't know what will!

The other thing about the Olympics is that you learn about sports you never even knew existed, like trampolining and...the human Steeple Chase. Yes, I seriously thought this was only done with people on horseback. Not to mention the sports you knew very little about: archery, table tennis, the hammer....oh the list is long. This also inspires my husband and I to sit on our sofa and discuss which sport we could’ve had a shot in if we had really tried (oh the laughter). It’s bicycle sprinting for him (with his legs, I actually believe him) and for me, power-walking for sure – yes it is a sport if you can believe it. Apparently we both missed our calling, but of course all our hopes now rest on the King. At the moment, I’m feeling the javelin or the hammer for him, as this kid can hurl things an incredible distance.

And the best part of the Olympics is that I not only get to root for America but England as well – who btw is doing incredibly well for the size of the country (they are third in the medal count and yet can fit into the state of California three times). I figure after all the years of rooting for tennis and football teams where I come up in the losing category (except yesterday, MURRAY YOU ACE!!!!), some Olympic gold feels pretty darn good.


Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed