As I prepared dinner last night (a delightful carrot soup, topped with a sprinkling of cumin and coconut shavings. Too good not to mention), my iPad sat on the kitchen counter regaling me of the evening news. As much as the evening news is generally one 30-minute report of global demise, I still tune in, for whatever weird reason stemming from adolescent history (it’s dinner time, the news is on!) to a lame attempt to stay in-the-know in the most general sense of the words.
Last night, and this week in fact, the reports have been two things…snow and Sochi. I know the snow, as we got walloped with two storms. And in watching the news, I now know that over a millions other souls did as well. Ok, so we are all buried and cold together.
And Sochi. The Winter Olympics. Before this year, I’m sure most folks could not even tell you that Sochi was a city in Russia (count me in that group).
This particular report started blurring to me since it’s been Sochi! Sochi! Sochi!-talk for days now (the media go overboard? when does that ever happen?)…until the interviewee said these particular lines…”How many athletes walk away with medals? Not many. For most of them, the opening ceremony IS their moment.”
I had never viewed it that way and what a completely cool thought it is. Myself, I look forward to the opening ceremonies for the uber-Broadway spectacle of it and, more importantly, the running commentary from my extremely funny husband. Not to diminish the pomp and circumstance, but we never fail to be amused by the tropical teams at the Winter games. Might there be a Jamaican curling team this year? We love the wee teams of 1 (1!) athlete from some minute country. Or hell, athletes from countries we’ve never even heard of. Exactly how many “-azastans are there??” Is it not bad enough that you get to feel like the world’s biggest slacker when you watch they Olympics (“she’s been on skis since she was 2 and trains for 23 hours a day!”…I worked twice…last week) but then you realize that you have only the most remedial working knowledge of the planet’s countries and probably could not point to 1/3 of them on a map with any sense of accuracy?
But the ceremony for the athletes….the athletes who train and train, who finally become olympians, but then never place or place so low that no one really recognizes them at all (can we even remember #4 in most cases? No. So sad when you think we are talking #4 IN THE WORLD and it’s still not good enough), the opening ceremony IS their moment.
All silliness aside, this is completely akin to a saying that my older daughter loves…”Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you land among the stars.”
I love that thought. For those who may not end up on a podium, seeing their nation’s flag raised and hearing their anthem played…this beginning spectacle, even with the goofy national uniforms (the poor U. S. athletes this year look like walking crazy-quilts from Betsy Ross’ scrap closet. Oh, Ralph, what were you thinking?), is their moment and darn it, they earned it. Boy, have they earned it.
The moon. The stars. Try to land among them whenever you have the chance.
This will be in my mind as I watch the athletes parade around the loop tonight, hands held high, iPhones recording everything,…along with the lone competitor from that one tiny nation.