With the closing ceremonies this evening the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are over. It has been an amazing 16 days of medals won, records broken, and memories made.
I remember my first Olympics in the summer of 1996, when they were held in Atlanta. My mom was telling us about the Opening ceremonies and telling us we were going to watch them. I was used to watching golf and Husker football on Saturdays and to this 10-year old watching sports of any kind was the MOST boring way to spend my time. So I know at least I, and maybe my siblings too, put up a big fight with lots of complaining. But, my mom won out and after seeing the parade of athletes representing nations from around the world, I was hooked. I will never forget seeing the USA women’s gymnastics team win gold that year.
There are many reasons why I love to watch the Olympics. Each athlete has worked so hard to earn the privilege of competing in the Games, and I love to see them give their very best, even if they don’t win gold. I love the emotion of winning, the spirit of the underdog who shocks everyone, the team spirit and the fun of the sports represented in both the winter and the summer games. I appreciate when those who do not win show respect and great sportsmanship.
These winter Olympics have given us many great stories of grace under pressure, heroic triumph under adverse circumstances, and dedication and love for the sport. I am sad to see the Games over for another 2 years (until the summer games) but I’m thankful I got the chance to see so many of the great moments.
The Christian life has often been compared to a race. We are Olympians in a way, striving to win the race to which God has called us, striving to the finish line and aiming to do the very best we can. I have been inspired by the great athletes I saw over the last 2 weeks, and I hope that I can honor God with the talents He has given me and run the race not for earthly medals for the crown in heaven.