Last night, while watching a plethora of athletic events and victories and failures of different athletes...I reflected.
These athletes are BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. Not only are they spectacles for the eyes because of their athletic and toned physiques, but they are graceful and their smiles light up the whole screen. Their tears (and faces for holding back tears) are even beautiful. They are so human and they remind us that we are, too. We all know both the soaring and ecstatic emotions of victory as well as the dark and frustrating feelings of defeat. But these athletes, like us, have found that the best way to move out of the darkness of defeat is to get up and try again, to brush away tears and to congratulate their fellow teammates, athletes, and competitors. They know that only in respecting and learning from their own mistakes and from the skills of others can they become better than they were in their defeat. It's beautiful.
I loved seeing the American, Norwegian, and Canadian snowboarders full of HUGE smiles that lit up the podium as they embraced one another in front of the world and were awarded the first medals of the Sochi Olympics. THIS is teamwork. This is beauty. This is the Olympic Spirit that we know and love. At the end of the day, above the competitions and the politics and the defeats, we are people and we are celebrating our victories TOGETHER.
Thank you, athletes, for being your beautiful, graceful, human selves...for singing your national anthems with pride and then embracing your competitors from around the world as friends. You make it worthwhile to emulate professional athletes again. You make the world better because of your tenacity and your ability to lift us with you as your spin and soar and skate and ski and push and speed along. You bring us with you in your victory, and we continue to cheer you through your defeat so that you can rise again and continue the ride.