The countdown for the 2012 Summer Olympics has begun and we’re starting to get excited.
The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of athletic events held by Greek city-states as early as 776 BC. Every four years an Olympic Truce was called to allow athletes to travel to Olympia to show their prowess and assert their city-state’s dominance through sports. Almost 2800 years later, athletes from all corners of the world are gathering in London to compete in a friendly environment.
The modern Olympic Games, which were first held in 1896, have become the world’s foremost sporting event of our times, alternating every two years between the Summer Games and the Winter Games. Every other year citizens from 200 nations channel their patriotism by rooting for the athletes representing their country. The events vary from the venerable (wrestling) to the obscure (slalom canoeing?). Face-offs range from the epic (remember the Miracle on Ice, Soviet vs. U.S. hockey game of 1980?) to the almost comical (Jamaican bob-sledding anyone?).
For us, there are two things that we love about the Olympics. The first is the intense rivalry in a friendly setting of overall great sportsmanship and fair play. While everyone roots for their own country there is a mutual respect and appreciation for the global community. Second, we love the oddity of being engaged in obscure sports that we don’t watch the rest of the 3 years and 11 months between Olympic games. When was the last time you went to a swimming meet or tuned into synchronized swimming? And yet, we find ourselves with hearts pounding and fists in the air, full of vigor for these events.
In the next few weeks, we will be gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics by scheming up Olympic watching party ideas and making a TV schedule to catch our favorite events. We will also look back at some of our favorite Olympics moments from years past. You know, those ones that pull at your heart strings, bring tears to your eyes, or make your gut churn? Do you still cringe when you remember Greg Louganis’s head hitting the diving platform?!
Yes, the Olympics are coming and we are going to be counting the golds.
Do you have favorite Olympics moments?