The reason I think they're so great? For me, they are an example of peace. You might wonder how that's true, given that it's all out combat for the gold. I think that's secondary, though. I think what's amazing is that the world unifies around these events. They tune in at the same times around the world to watch their teams, their sports, their athletes. They might be cheering for an underdog, or for someone else's countryman because they know him/her from their league playing or from interviews or because they love the sport that person represents. Whatever the reason, people tune in.
I, for one, would probably watch them both non-stop if I didn't think I'd lose my job over it. And I'd TIVO the ones that overlapped (I don't have TIVO).
I've always dreamed of going to the opening ceremonies. All of those people from around the world watching at once, the same things! Music and dancing and culture, a parade of nations and colors and excitement. How can you NOT be swept up?
I love the sportsmanship. I love that you see real life triumphs and failures. I imagine the countless hours of dedication that these people put into what I see just seconds, minutes, or a few hours of...it's inspirational. It makes me want to go and do it myself. The commercials are better than the Superbowl's (which, I maintain, have been mostly terrible since I was in about 5th grade minus the few standouts which I'm sure I'll post for your viewing pleasure at some point).
SO...GO OLYMPICS! GO WORLD CUP! GO WORLD! Thanks to all of you who work so hard to make them happen: athletes, coaches, fans, world leaders, coordinators, photographers, videographers, architects, builders, media outlets, hospitality teams, etc. Can't imagine life without these short weeks that the world looks forward to for years!
And now...get pumped for World Cup Brazil 2014 with this awesome montage of national songs for this summer's participating teams!