Thursday, August 19, 2004

Athens 2004

Originally I hadn't planned to comment on the Olympic games, I even told my good friend Angela so...but like everything else I've said I wouldn't write about--I've changed my mind. Today as I was reading the newspaper, I for some reason felt inclined to read the comics, which I rarely do. There in the comics was a fine Blondie strip. Watching the olympic games on television, Dagwood commented: "It's good to see everybody get together and play nice for a change." What an understatement!

It was refreshing to see all countries file in at the opening ceremonies, happily and without malice. France, Russia, and the United States in one place, without the politics of war seperating them. It is great to see Afghani and Iraqi women participating in the games. But, what I've found to be the greatest sight was North and South Korea together, marching in as one, competing together. What a miracle that is. What a beautiful sight. What a long and uphill road it has been since the Korean War and the Cold War.

Tonight I caught the men's gymnastics all-around competition. Paul Hamm made me cry! The thought that after three successful events, the error on the vault could take him out of the running, and with determination and two more events he could come back and take the gold--- it was amazing, uplifting, and will surely be one of the greatest memories of the Olympics for me.

As wonderful as this all is...what will happen following the closing ceremonies of the 28th Olympiad? Must we return to the bickering and seperation we've acheived in the last few years? For the moments we spend watching the events, it is so nice to not be seeing images of Iraq and floods of campaign stops by Bush and Kerry. I haven't worried about November's election all day! (Or the fact that we've practically left the U.N. as well as our allies.)

What a wonderful job Athens has done, not just in hosting, but in the successful attempt to unite the world. If only for a brief moment in time. If only it could last forever...


Tara A. Rowe said...

Also, yesterday a North Korean television network aired a South Korean winning the Judo medal for the first time in history! Maybe the Olympic games can be a turning point in North and South Korean relations.

Kind of off the topic... it has been said over and over again about Paul Hamm's win last night that "Challenges help us to know who we are." There's a nice thought for today.

Anonymous said...

Tara Rowe....I'm so glad that you posted this wonderful piece on the Olympics. I'm usually not one who really cares about the Olympics, but this year has really been a turning point for me....expecially, Paul Hamm. Seriously, that was the greatest Olympic moment I've ever seen. I was cheering out loud and was on the edge of my couch the whole night. I'm glad you too witnessed a great Olympic moment.....Angie

Tara A. Rowe said...

I was sad to see Radcliffe and Devers both suffer strains and drop out of their races today. I am absolutley amazed by Gail Devers. I did watch the women's marathon today...yes, all 2 1/2 hours!! It was great! I'm so glad that the Athens games have turned out so well and it is less of a political matter than it could have been given the circumstances of the world now.