Olympics of half-empty.

Olympics and gloomy spells make for interesting observations.

I can’t say I really watch sports ever, but with kiddo being into sports, particularly volleyball and basketball which are both summer sports, the TV has been on olympics almost every time that I’ve walked through a room she’s in this week. (well, after camp each day anyway..)

And amid all of the much deserved cheering for the medal winners… it’s sort of interesting to notice some of the less cheerful sides.

I wonder a bit…. how many broken hearts and shattered identities come from all of this. All those competitors who have spent so much of their lives training so much of their efforts on these dreams… but just weren’t quite the best. When they are obviously the best around back in their homes.. and probably have been for quite some time. How tough has it got to be to come to grips with the fact that even if you are the fastest person on the entire continent you come from, you still might just be the person coming in last in this race.

How many people watching the games and hearing so much about them everywhere they turn are nursing wounds as former stars who had dreams, but had them die… due to injury… due to circumstances… due to life in general. Some due to giving up, some from mistakes, some from no fault of their own. Some from just not being physically capable no matter how hard they pushed themselves and trained.

At the same time, I’m sort of baffled at some of the patriotism and seeming personal feelings of accomplishment of random non-athlete people. Things like people who couldn’t do a backflip to save their life bragging on facebook to people they know in other countries… as if they had anything to do with the team’s victory except living in the same country. Does some distant connection based only on where some lines of division happened to have been drawn really give any latitude to brag on anything really? (Even better, person on that particular incident happened to live in far south texas… as in formerly mexico. Guess they are glad to war went how it did, so they could rub in random loose connections at people who probably don’t really care?)

And maybe the darkest story I’ve seen this week…. the story of the chinese athlete who won a medal… only to be later told that two of her grandparents died over a year ago, and her mom has been battling cancer for a long time. They decided not to tell her for all of this time because it might make her lose focus on her training for the gold. Really? Can you imagine a worse way to be told that basically your feelings don’t matter at all if they get in the way of how you perform? How much would you even feel like you mattered as a person?

And that has been your stressed-out and pessimistic feeling guide to the olympics. Feel free to dump out the half empty glass for something that tastes better!

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