I haven’t paid much attention to the Olympics during my lifetime. Sure, some of the sports are interesting, and I will tune in, but I’m not a fan for the most part. I decided to watch most of the opening ceremony from the 2020 Summer Olympics before signing into my virtual workplace.
It wasn’t lost on me that the games are still called the 2020 Summer Olympics despite this being the summer of 2021. The stadium was all but empty, and the performers kept the appropriate social distance throughout the beautifully choreographed sequences. A moment of silence and meditation was observed in honor of the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives to COVID, and then a curious thing happened. The announcer included a moment of silence in memory of several Israeli teammates who were kidnapped and murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics. According to the announcer that had not happened before. Interesting.
The difference between this year and previous Olympics years is the COVID-19 pandemic. What hasn’t that damnable virus interfered with? Despite athletes from around the globe gathering to compete for the gold, silver, and bronze, their enthusiasm for representing their countries and proud parents cheering them on, COVID continues to rear it’s ugly spiky viral head. Positive test results continue to dampen the historical games.
On the upside, this Olympic year displayed the tenacity of the human spirit to overcome the odds. The best of the best did gather, their enthusiasm more infectious than the wretched virus. What competitions can take place will, and those able, will compete.
As I watched the opening ceremony, emotion swept over me, and for just a moment, my spirit felt the collective pulse of a united world – a world who had set aside its political, religious, and philosophical differences to celebrate as one…..