The International Olympic Committee has been planning for the event for nearly a decade. The athletes competing have been training for these games for years. The Brits performed an impressive count down to the opening ceremony earlier this week...
How's that for preparation?? Clothing aside, I'm really looking forward to the games this year. I'm not exactly a sports fanatic, but there is something about the Olympics that excites me, and it's not only watching this guy swim up a storm...
But seriously, the Olympics remind us all who we share the world with. During the games, every country has the same goal -- to win. Although we're competing against one another, our teams' dreams are aligned. For once, we're all fighting for the same outcome. And while the races get intense as viewers watch their favorite athletes, for just a moment, it's almost possible to forget about all the violence, conflict and tragedy the world is facing. Because for the few minutes we get lost in watching an event, we're all just humans, cheering our teams to what we hope is victory.
The Olympic Games represent a reward for all of the dedication, focus, hard work and skill the world's athletes possess. Regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation or socioeconomic status, the event competitors all begin at the same starting point and compete on a level playing field. And as a viewer it's so gratifying to witness the most qualified person getting the gold at the end of the competition.
Despite the many terrible and horrific things we read about in the news every day, it's comforting to know that at least once every few years we can set our differences aside and join together simply to showcase the world's best athletic competitors. The Olympic Games are an age old tradition, and it's a testament to the effort of a great many people that we continue the tradition today. It's a chance to see glimpses of and learn about a foreign country you've never visited, and it's a chance to hear personal stories about fellow citizens of the world. The pride the athletes, their families and fans display is very moving. I can't wait to see who takes the golds and earns a place in history this year.
To borrow Visa's slogan, "Go world!"