So the Olympics are finished for another four years (not counting Winter, of course). I confess I was a little late for the party. I was at camp when they started. I was without TV and had limited internet, not to mention the whole campers thing. When I got home I started watching some of the events. As I reflect on what I did see, there are several things I noticed.
I am beginning to like soccer. I have watched it enough lately to not only understand most of the rules, but some of the way the game is played. Those are two very different things by-the-way. Never having played a second of anything resembling the sport, I appreciate the skill and stamina of the athletes.
I started caring about people I had never heard of until last Sunday and who will undoubtedly drift from my attention by next week. Yet, for one week they were important to me. And even if I never see them again (their commercials will soon be off the loop which is their final appearance), I hope they have great lives and live out their dreams. Some will, for sure, reappear in four years and I may or may not remember that I cared for them in Rio, but I will likely do so again.
I found myself cheering for people who I would normally not. I.e., I am turned off by people who are overly arrogant and are so self assured that they become brash. Yet, there I was, hoping that Bolt would beat the US runners. Four years ago, I hoped he would trip on his shoe laces, or a team mate would drop the baton before it came to him. Maybe I am changing and not realizing it. Not sure what is going on there but it happened.
I watched sports I never heard of, or forgot existed. Handball was one. I think I saw it once or twice because it looked familiar. It is not the sport I think of when I think of the word. What a sport! They ought to call it mugging ball. And the girls with the hoola hoops, small balls and ribbon strings. WOW, are they good.
I skipped basketball (I am not a fan of the NBA), watched a fair amount of volleyball, diving, and people running around the track and jumping over poles (either jumping really high or using a pole to jump a pole. And who thought that up?) Speaking of jumping, horses jumping fences was pretty interesting as well.
That pretty well covers it. Looking back on the lessons I learned, several come to mind. I noticed that people are really good a different things. Maybe it is because they are taller, bigger, littler, shorter, like to swim more than run or whatever. And it takes each skill and talent to make up a team. Personally I have little interest in jumping a horse over a fence, but I am glad someone is. We need everyone and every skill for the kingdom as well. 'Not like me' is a good thing.
I also observed that it is appropriate to care about people we don’t know, will never meet, and who are so different than we are. Why do I care if Poland beats whoever they were playing in handball? Oh, and I think they lost, but that is another story. How does that happen? I don’t know but I know it does. I need to care about people I will never see. People who don’t have clean water, people who don’t have enough food, people who live in fear and terror, people enslaved by evil, greedy people. My God cares about them, and has call me, called all of us to do something about it.