Go Americanada!

I’m not a big sports fan, but I always get swept up in the excitement of the olympics! It’s nice to see the world gathering together for something other than global war. It’s a great chance for the countries of the world to get together and show their national pride.

This year’s olympics are special for me because these will be the first olympic games I haven’t watched from the US. Who do I root for? Go Canadamerica! Go North America!

It’s facinating to see people training their bodies to the point where they become a machine designed for a purpose: to jump off of a diving board, to balance on a beam, to run really really fast. I suppose that’s really true of any professional athelete, but these are the world’s best. They have to control what comes into their body, what happens to their body every moment, and then the real training begins. This means they have to control with precision how they eat, how they sleep, how they train, and every other little detail that most of us don’t even think about. Every waking moment is focused on one task. On one hand it’s beautiful and awe inspiring. Isn’t this level of dedication and all-consuming love for something what pushes life to the wildest edge of edges? Isn’t that what pushes it to the realm of art? What makes life beautiful and amazing and worth living?

Yes, but I also can’t help but feel sorry for these people. They are comodities, everything they do is structured and scheduled. They are meant to perform a task, to represent a sport and a country, to be a poster child for success in the face of adversity and poverty, not to enjoy each day or relax and enjoy a quiet moment as the sun illuminates a butterfly’s wings. Billions of people around the world watch these people perform on their TVs, wonder what it’s like to be them, wishing to be them. But I’m sure these atheletes look at the cameras and wish they were at home with their loved ones, relaxing, enjoying watching the events, and then going on with their lives.

Most people see this:

And think: “Wow, he’s such an awesome swimmer!” or  “With The American Dream you can achieve anything!”

I see it and think: “It’s so sad that Michael Phelps is a robot instead of a person.”

Well, In any case, I admire the atheletes as much as the next guy or gal. It’s amazing what the human body is capable when pushed to the wildest edge of edges. And the most amazing part is that people push themselves to discover the limits of the human body, and then someone else pushes farther, and someone esle comes along and pushes it even farther time and time again! Amazing!

Remember: No matter how close to the edge you get, you can always push just a little farther without falling.

And those are my opening thoughts on the summer games.

Go Canadamerica!

5 thoughts on “Go Americanada!

  1. I love this! And I am in awe of the majestic Americanadian/Canadamerican flag.
    I like that you pointed out the commodification of the athlete; that’s an interesting and very valid point. We want these people to be something, to stand for something, to fulfill our hopes and dreams and give us an identity. It always tickles me when fans of a team say “We won!!!” as if they’d been on the field or court. And it always awes and appalls me to think of how single-minded you’d have to be in order to be an Olympian.

  2. I wish I could claim I came up with that flag, but I didn’t…I always think that “we won” or “we lost” mentality is really odd too! I always want to say, “You didn’t do anything, you watched THEM win or lose…” The only time it makes sense is if Ron Weasley rooted for Gryffindor in Quidditch before he was on the team, but while he was a Gryffindor, because the team represents the house and he was a part of the house. Otherwise, It’s like getting to the end of LOTR and saying, “We did it! We saved the shire!”

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