Maybe, I am not your stereo typical guy, in that I am not a huge sports fan. I just don’t have any desire to spend hours glued to the TV watching football, baseball, basketball or even hockey. But ever 4 years that changes when the Olympics roll around. I am suddenly irresistibly drawn to the TV to watch any and all the events that I can. I am in total awe of each and every athlete as they show their athletic abilities in their various events. I marvel at the dedication, the determination and the work that each and every one has put in to get them to the point where they are now. The thousands of hours of work and training they have put in to prepare for this time. I admire and respect every one of them irregardless of the country they come from.
I AM A CANADIAN and very proud of that fact. I am proud of my country and I suppose there for it is natural that I do cheer for Canadian athletes.
Now I am not really sure if it is because I do seem to see things slightly differently on a lot of occasions since my health issues have arisen or what. But, this year, it seems I am viewing the Olympics with a different mind set.
I admit there is still a large part of me that wants the Canadian athlete to win. But, more and more I am coming to realize, I really don’t care which country the winning athletes are from. When watching the events on TV, they usually show a quick flash of the athlete, who usually wave to the camera. During this brief introduction it is mentioned which country the particular athlete is representing, fair enough as each is there proudly representing their own country. I realized my attention was drawn more to the country being represented than the individual participant. Think about it, how wrong is that.
I have always liked watching the Olympics and I am sort of embarrassed to admit but back in my younger days, I often found myself cheering AGAINST particular athletes simply because of the country they represented. Had nothing to do with the individual competing, it was just I didn’t want THAT country to get any glory. How wrong is that? I lost sight of the fact it was an individual competing and not a country. In my mind I suppose I was penalizing the individual because of the country they represented. How wrong is that?
Now, I see the athlete, the individual. I both marvel at and admire the strength and determination they have to have worked so very hard. The years of training and very hard work it has taken to get them to this point. I see an individual that has put so much effort into making their dream come true. The dream of competing in the Olympics. Is that dream any less real to any of the participants, irregardless of anything? I don’t think so.
Last night I was watching the men’s diving off the high board. I found myself cheering for each individual diver as his turn came. I was hoping each diver would each hit that perfect dive and score 10’s. I saw individuals living their dream and I was cheering for them all.
Yes, I am a citizen of Canada and very proud of that. I have realized I am more than that, I am a citizen of this world and also very proud of that. I see the feats individual athletes can accomplish and it makes me proud to be a citizen of this world. Never again will I allow the country of origin to blur my vision of the individual. Maybe if we all tried to carry this thought, here at the Olympics yes but also in our daily lives. Could we even try to carry it over to people of a different faith or religion, I don’t see why not.
I am only human so I still do have my individual biases. There is still a group of athletes that I do cheer AGAINST. No countries athletes are exempt from being placed on my no cheer list. I hate arrogance. If I see any individual showing what I feel is arrogance in say a semi final, that individual will be on my no cheer list for the final. This is something that has just to do with the individual and nothing to do with countries of origin.