Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feeling Olympic

I was never the sporty type. In gym class, I was sure to do the absolute minimum (and sometimes a lot less). When someone throws a ball in my direction, I’m still more likely to duck than catch it. Sports just isn’t in the genes, I’m sorry to say.

But I love to watch the Olympics. The excitement of it all, the competition—and most of all, I love to hear the stories behind the ski glasses and fancy outfits. The stories of how the athletes worked for years to get better, be perfect. I can appreciate that passion, even when the odds are so lousy. I mean, look at us writers. The odds are against us, to put it mildly. Publishing is tough, and even when you’re good, there are a few thousand other guys that are just as good or better than you.

Still. It’s possible. Just look at the skaters, skiers, and lugers for heaven’s sake. Watch the look in their eyes when they’re about to set off for their few minutes of perfection. See how amazing it is to watch someone who loves his craft be so completely in the zone, it’s just about as close to divine as it gets.

As you can tell, I’m inspired by these athletes. Not because of the level of achievement (although impressive), but because of the passion it took to get to Vancouver. Just the love of the craft, or sport. How great is that?

Watch some of the Winter Olympics, if you get a chance. I dare you not to be inspired.


  1. You're tagged (http://pattinase.blogspot.com) If you care to play.

  2. Have you noticed that the winter sports seem to fill the "crazy" slot? Every sport is hurling yourself down mountains/through tubes, or spinning across incredibly hard surfaces on teeny tiny footwear, or some variation of the two. These winter guys make the summer guys look tame.

  3. The Winter Games have always been my favorites. Not that I don't like the Summer Games, but Jenny may have hit the nail on the head. I know lots of people who run and lift weights of various sizes, but not many who defy gravity on a regular basis. Crazy and inspiring. That's a great description.

    If you haven't toured the Olympic Training Center, I recommend it highly. You will almost always see athletes training in person. Most will never make it to the Olympics, but it doesn't slow them down one bit. And there's the inspirational (or schmaltzy, depending on your viewpoint) movie that always always always makes me cry. And it's free!

  4. Will have to check out the Olympic Training Center again sometime; last time I went, I was with a group of 5 year-olds :-)

    It is pretty amazing, the fearless factor of the games. I can't even ski, and these people just go.