Olympic-mania: Celebrating what’s behind the medals.

Christine Colleran

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the athletes competing and America beating other countries we cheer. It’s the hap-happiest games of all (ding-dong-ding), there are gold medals swinging and everyone’s singing the anthem so dearrr…

Ok, so I changed a Christmas song into a rather pathetic ode to the Olympics (I sincerely hope that someone re-reads that remix and sings along) – but I just can’t fight this happy feeling. I simply adore the Olympics, especially the summer games, and I am so excited that I often find myself doing the happy dance to Olympic commercials when I’m watching television alone.

Now I love a lot of things to the point of near obsession; cookie dough blizzards, for example. A shirtless Ryan Reynolds would be another one of those things (or a clothed Ryan Reynolds for that matter). Yet my admittedly creepy love for Ryan in all states of dress doesn’t even come close to how I feel about the summer Olympic Games.

The other day after I expressed my enthusiasm for the Olympics to a friend and she asked me what it was about the Olympics that fascinated me so much. I rattled off a list that I thought would make sense to her, you know: the fit swimmers in tiny speedos, the soccer, the track (I used to run – and she let it go.)

But later, thinking back on what my friend had asked me, I wondered if that was really it. Why did I love the Olympics so much? Soccer is on television all the time, so is track, and if I really needed to see swimmers in speedos it’s only a Google search away.

When the reason finally came to me, I was a little surprised by my own discovery. I love the Olympics mainly because it makes me so proud to be an American. Most things that are supposed to make us proud in the United States are twisted up in political strife. Someone has always got an issue with policy or international relations- and as a result we rarely just enjoy pride for our incredible country.

The Olympics, however, take us away to a safe place, a neutral island of sorts where we can just stand united as a country and forget about most of the political stuff for a while. There is such an incredible sense of camaraderie when we win a medal at any Olympic sport, be it swimming or power-walking (yes they have it- and yes, it is impossible to power-walk without looking like a constipated duck).

In the end, I’m not complaining about those tiny, tight Speedos- but they also are not my reason for tuning in. I urge everyone to watch the Olympics and to truly appreciate the amazing people that come forward to represent our country. If medal counts say anything, we have a lot to be thankful for here in the United States.

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